Monthly Archives: March 2018

Canada Doesn’t Want More Indigenous Babies

Sooo I dunno, I guess I felt like writing again. SO SOON! It’s a bad time for communicating because it’s Mercury Retrograde. I had a virtual consult with Posey’s trainer and the video feed stopped working and then she called me and then the call dropped, so she had to call again. It’s Monday and I haven’t heard back from the fertility clinic yet. I’m terrified some terrible thing will have happened, like my referral fell between the cracks somewhere. But my doctor said it would be a couple of months before I see them anyway, and on their website it said they would make an appointment in 4-6 weeks.

I did a good chunk of writing today, which was good for me. I’m getting back into it. I’ve also been doing a bunch of research in the evenings on various fertility treatments and egg freezing and when eggs start losing quality and apparently the best time to freeze is when you are 37 and older eggs have more chromosomal defects and a higher chance of producing someone with Down Syndrome, and older men’s sperm ALSO has been correlated with things like a higher incidence of Autism. There’s a lot of things to weigh and statistics aren’t great for older women/people with eggs having a live birth, even with fertility treatments. Like besides quality, there’s also just way less of them, often. And I have been getting hot flashes, which could mean I’m already heading into infertile territory. The good news is that they do tests before giving you fertility drugs and scheduling you for the surgery, which is putting a needle through your vagina to your ovary to take out eggs one at a time. OMG. They recommend freezing 24 eggs, and I used this frzmyeggs calculator and according to my age they can probably get 7-10 eggs in a cycle. AND Ontario only pays for one cycle, usually people do multiple cycles. So it’s like, on one hand I have access to miracle science babymaking methods, and on the other hand it’s super limited in scope of what is covered, AND I have to pay for my own fertility drugs.

OH OH OH! Also fertility drugs cost thousands of dollars. Yikes. BUT in my googling I went on the NIHB website to see what meds are covered for Indigenous folks. And of course, fertility drugs are NOT covered. Birth Control IS covered. But my friend Melody says on remote reserves they don’t stock Plan B. So it’s like, some fucked up anti-Indigenous policy there. Like do I have to explain why that is fucked up? The less Indigenous babies being made, the better for Canada. Which is some fucked up shit.

Also obviously the Indian Act was written before people considered queer/same-sex/trans/poly families. And there’s been a notice on their website for a few years now that they are gonna update that section to make policy around how same sex families can pass on Indian Status to their kids. But I feel like there’s probably some white bureaucrat who’s been extremely hungover all this time wearing shades sleeping on his desk being like “Yeah yeah I’ll get to writing that, just give me five more minutes.” Ugh. SO yeah, it hasn’t been updated yet. Like they are probably not even at the point yet of brainstorming with a big piece of paper and some sharpies all the different ways queers get babies.

Senator Murray Sinclair had this video on CBC Indigenous today about how the biggest problem Indigenous people have is self respect, and then went on these SWEEPING generalizations about how we don’t know how to parent or be in loving relationships or good wives and husbands and we don’t know our culture or our beliefs about there hereafter and I’m like jesus christ what Indians are you hanging out with? When I look on my facebook I see so many Indigenous friends working really hard at parenting their kids and trying to deal with current issues like bullying and racism and giving them good self esteem. And people connecting with their culture, and knowing our history, and passing down old old wisdoms that our grandparents taught us, and I even had a car ride not long ago with my friend Terri where we talked about our elders who were Christian suddenly talking about old time beliefs in the afterlife that were tribally specific and fully believing that is where they are going even tho they talked about Jesus most of their lives. And I know that this isn’t an either/or, like not ALL Indigenous people have it together, some ARE shitty parents, some ARE passing on abuse that comes from residential schools to the next generation. Yeah, but I didn’t like the way he talked like NONE of us are able to do these things or be connected to our communities/families/culture/beliefs.

Anyway, yeah. There’s some internalized racism there.

And I have it too, like my Mom did parent me pretty well, there were things I wish were different, but ultimately I think I turned out ok. I have some self esteem issues but that’s also related to bullying that I was a victim of in school. Anyway. I know I can parent, I’ve been looking after these dogs for years, I’ve lived with a kid, I’ve got qualities that seem suited to it, I’ve thought about it for a long time, I feel like I am ready. But still part of me feels like oh geez who would want me to parent? I’m a bipolar queer poor single Indigenous artist, like that’s a whole bunch of things people don’t like. And I guess part of me still believes that it’s not for me, like I just assumed I wasn’t capable of it, even tho I’ve worked for years to get my self esteem back to normal and feel like I can affirm my abilities. I know sometimes my family has a low opinion of what I can do with my life. I don’t know what to do about that. Nothing I guess, and really it’s not my problem if they have those feelings.

BUT also I am in a different place in my career than even a few years ago. I’ve been getting more work. I have stable housing. Except for not having a partner, and wanting to wait another year before finally trying to fertilize these eggs so I can get some more work done on a project and stuff, I’m pretty much in a good place to have babies. Like I just don’t want to keep waiting for my life to start, waiting forever for a partner someday. I might get one, but I might not. My psychic has seen someone in my future. I just don’t know though, and I want to start doing things now to get the future I want happening.

I read my tarot cards about where my goals are, and it said something about how this problem I am dealing with right now is still being reluctant to let go of the past. And to let those old thoughts and stuff crumble and disintegrate and be ready for new beliefs and ideas to come into my life. And to some degree that’s true. If I was totally over the past and ready to move on, I would be trying to make a baby this year. But there’s just, ugh. I need a little bit of time still. Which is why I am freezing eggs.

OMG so weird, I’m one of those people who can feel when I ovulate, and I can feel it while I am writing this. That’s a good sign! I was worried I wasn’t feeling those as much, but it seems to still be happening.

When I first got my ovarian cyst, I stopped having a period for three months before it came back. It was so weird, I actually took a pregnancy test I was so confused, even tho I’d not had sex with anyone. I got it removed after I had my ablation, so I don’t know if it would have made a difference for my periods. Anyway. Weird women/AFAB stuff.

Complex Baby Making

Sooooooo I kind of made a major life decision the last few days. I think part of my desperation to get a partner has been so that I can move on to the NEXT part of my life where I have children and a family. And it was just not happening, and making me sad and frustrated, and I think I got wrapped up with people who want to flirt more than actually have relationships with me. Anyway I was upset about it sometime this week and like crying while writing in my diary about how I feel stuck and I just want to MOVE ON to the next part. And yeah my career is important, and that won’t stop, and I am in the midst of some major projects. But something snapped and I was like wait a minute! Why the fuck am I waiting for someone to come have a family with me? Like, it might never happen if I keep waiting around like this. And I’m just getting older, I turn 40 next month. Like it’s kind of a crucial thing that I have children pretty soon if I want to keep up with them. I don’t want to be 50 with a toddler. I have long living genes in my family, like people live into their 100’s and 90’s on both sides of my family. So I’m not worried about becoming decrepit really fast. So I feel like even tho I am older I can still do it.

Anyway, there are a lot of ways to end up with a baby. But I’ve really come to feel that I want my genetic material to live on, and it’s not just because I am egotistical, like it’s also got to do with being Plains Cree, and my family history, and the fact that so few of the people on my maternal side are going on to have children, and I feel like it’s kind of important that this line continues. Like there are some really nice attributes in our family that I just feel are important and I would like to see in a kid. And being able to tell a child about their family history and where they come from and who their ancestors were and how they survived hundreds of years of genocide just seems kind of important to me. I like that I know that stuff, and I think raising someone who knows all that is pretty cool too. And I also think about what kind of donor I want, and I kind of would like another Cree person/man to be the father/donor. And I have also thought more about who would be involved in this baby’s life, and I feel like being a single Mom in the future, and having a lot of queer parenting role models in my life, I think I would be open to that person being a co-parent. I mean, we would have to all be on the same page, and I don’t know how involved they would want to be.

SO long story short I got a referral to a fertility clinic to do egg retrieval and freezing. And I’m really not sure of the state of my eggs. I’m glad my doctor got me to start taking folic acid several months ago though, because that is supposed to be good for fertility. But I am 40 pretty quick here, and time is of the essence, and once they are retrieved and we know some/enough are viable, and they are frozen and stored, then it buys me a bit of time to find a surrogate.

So I was talking to my ex today because she has a kid, and we talked about babies and the first year and what surprised her and what she had to say about her experience, and she asked my timeline. And I am thinking about two years. Like it would give me time to negotiate with a donor and a surrogate and save money to pay for a bunch of this stuff. And it sounds expensive, but also Canada has rules against paying your surrogate, so it’s more like, paying for the costs of pregnancy like food and rent when they need to take time off work and life costs and that kind of stuff. And also Canada pays for health care so hopefully a lot of this will get covered. Anyway, I’m excited and like, kind of feeling way more sure than I expected I would.

The other thing was yesterday when I went to my doctor’s office for a referral to this clinic, I was so worried she would be a jerky gatekeeper or something and be like “You are too poor/single/disabled/whatever to have a child!” BUT she wasn’t at all! She was really excited and happy and totally pleased to refer me and I was so relieved. When I walked home I felt like I was walking on a cloud, and then when I got home and wrote about it in my diary I totally cried because it was like, the first big step, and easier than I had thought, and I wasn’t facing a major obstacle yet. And I know there are a lot of variables that could happen in the next couple of years, like my eggs might not be great, or they might be fine but when it comes time to get an embryo to implant it might not work, or there could be a miscarriage. I mean it could go off the rails at any point along here. And there are still options after that, like donor eggs, or adoption, all kinds of things. BUT I really want to try and see this through and see if I can make a small human out of my eggs.

It’s kind of ridiculous, like I didn’t want kids for so long, and then just the last few years have I suddenly started changing my mind. And I’m prepared for what early childhood is like, because I spent a good number of years living with a little kid who was going through all his developmental phases. And like, he wasn’t living with us full time, but he was around like, for days and sometimes weeks on end, so it’s not like he just would be at our house for a couple of hours at a time. And even tho it would be more convenient, I’m still kind of glad I would not be the person going through pregnancy, because I have fibroids so I got my endometrial lining out so it’s not possible anymore, and if I had been pregnant I would have had to go off my medication, and there would be a risk of post-partum depression or psychosis, and I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed because of my medication. And I just don’t want that, I’ve worked so hard to be stable this last eleven years. And yeah babies wreck sleep. BUT still, I think this way is better.

Anyway, doing this is more interesting than trying to get women to love me ha ha. OMG. I feel ridiculous for waiting so long just because I wanted a partner first. Like, whatever. I don’t want to base my life decisions on NEEDING someone else before I do something. It’s been really ineffectual and depressing. And there are way more options for queer co-parenting than having a romantic partner. Like obviously if I fell in love with someone who loved me back and wanted to be in a family with me I would still go for it and feel really happy about it. But this waiting is just really fucked up and insane. And there’s babies to be made!

And I’ve been having dreams about my son since I was 20. Like not EVERY night or anything, but definitely he has shown up in my dreams at different life stages and it’s always had a really positive tone to it. And I know I might end up with a girl, but something tells me I am gonna have a son. I mean also there are variables in gender like they could be trans or something. I dunno. But my psychic has also seen a little boy in my future. And she only started talking about my kids the last couple of times I have seen her. But she has seen them. She sees two actually, but one comes after the first one. So I don’t think they are twins. I don’t know, I haven’t dreamed about more than the son.

In some ways I still feel really young and unprepared, but I’m in a good place in my life, even tho I am single, and I am not young anymore, I’m in some positions of responsibility now, and I have been paying my bills and my rent on time this last while, and I’ve figured out sort of how to make a living. Like I’m ready, and in other ways I do recognize that. And I’ve done my crazy shit as a youth, and traveled a lot, and I don’t do drugs or drink anymore so I think I’m pretty healthy in those respects to have a child in my life.

Anyway yeah. I’ve been thinking about this a long time, and feeling defensive for a while about this future child and who will be involved in his life and who won’t and where I am making boundaries around him and where I have to let him go and make his own mistakes. And it’s been a really interesting inner process I’ve been going through over this.

So in those regards, this isn’t coming out of left field at all. I’ve had long conversations in email with a close friend about this kid over the last several months, whoever he turns out to be. Or she. I really don’t know. But I feel like I just gotta start and see what happens.

I feel kind of defensive about the whole thing, like if someone is gonna try and come piss on my dreams ha ha. But on the other hand, a lot of people on my friends list on fb are parents, and they seem to manage. And some of them are single. And a lot of them are queer. And I’m glad the fertility clinic I am going to is queer positive and single mom positive. So yeah! I’ve been talking about it with my Mom, and it’s so preliminary, we have talked about possibilities and stuff, and it’s like, I don’t want to assume this means I am gonna have a baby from one of my eggs. Because we just don’t know. But both of us want to see what happens, and I guess that’s as positive as anyone can be having kids after 40 when it’s this complicated.

Your Content Is Too Weird And Your Life Is An Episode Of Degrassi

It’s Tuesday. I had a busy weekend. What the fuck did I do? I went to a house show on Friday night, my friend was playing for the first time in their two bands. I had massive social anxiety though and left early. Then Saturday night my friend Riki and I went to see Beth Ditto play, and she was amazing, and has this great southern drawl, and we got to stand right against the stage and she looked into my eyes and sang to me and I was like okay this is amazing! I want to stand in front of the stage all the time!

Sunday was an AGM for Pleasure Dome, and it went really long. I didn’t expect it to last that long, and I had to miss a friend’s birthday dinner, which was too bad. BUT now I am on the board, which is cool.

I wrote and performed a reading on Monday night as part of a screening series at U of T called State Violence and Indigenous Resistance. I think it went well.

And now that all of that is done I’m back to my life, which means getting my ass in gear about writing this script. The first thing is doing a beat sheet, AGAIN. And my editor is like “Omg your main character has no job what does she do??” Which is true she needs substance. So I have to give her a life. Ha ha. She’s supposed to be younger, but also the editor liked a story I told on facebook about something that happened at a symposium I was at. So I am thinking of making her a blogger/activist of sorts. Except she has to make some kind of living at it. And it’s funny, because I literally have been a blogger for well over a decade and I’m not making a living at it.

Sometimes people cruise by here and scoop up my email and send me messages being like “I can help you monetize your blog!” or “You have weird content and if you wrote the way we describe you could make money!” and I’m like noooo this is a weird self indulgent artist project. Ha ha which I make no money on. BUT youtube bloggers seem to make money. I’m not a youtube blogger tho. I mean vlogger. Ugh whatever.

ANYWAY, the point is, people somehow make careers out of being activists with opinions, so I think that’s kind of the slant I want my character to have. But like, maybe a bit more creative than that. Anyway, I’ve been grappling with this so that I can write out my beat sheet in an interesting way. Right now I am doing laundry, but this afternoon I want to get a good chunk of writing in before boxing at 6pm.

I’ve been having crappy sleeps this last week, and apparently there was a solar storm which explains some of it. I even had to take Ativan three times this last week and a bit just to sleep properly. At first I thought it was because I have a fucked up life, but no, that’s not the ONLY reason I was sleeping badly. Lots of people were sleeping badly.

Sometimes I just come here to warm up my writing actually. Like I guess sometimes good thoughts come out, and sometimes it’s just bleeding out the bad, but often it’s just warm ups. Like vocal warm ups.

My mind is kind of all over today, and I took my Vyvanse so that’s not an excuse. I’m trying to refocus on my career, and some life stuff happened instead that distracted me for wayyyyyy too long with no real point to it. I mean I guess I could say I learned something about life and myself through the experience. But like, whatever, I’m tired of my life being a Degrassi High episode with a moral point to it. Ha ha ha. Like “You could have avoided this whole thing if you had been thinking clearly and more rationally.” UGH! I’m just so lead by my emotions. I blame the bipolar. Like my feelings are so fucking GIANT and when they start doing things it’s really hard to concentrate.

And I like reading my tarot cards, so I kept reading them for advice, and basically they just kept saying “Concentrate on your career!” And how I would be successful in my career if I stopped being all mopey about unrequited love situations and stuff. And they are probably right. It’s kind of depressing though, to have my cards be like CAREER and me being all “BUT I WANT A GIRLFRIEND!” Ugh. I mean I guess it’s good, people seem to like what I do, I like what I do, it’s interesting. I definitely know how to do it way better than the love thing. Sometimes people like me because of my career. I guess it’s a draw.

Ha ha anyway, long story short, my editor said I needed to put myself more in my script, and it’s true, like my character is not as multidimensional as she could be, the last draft she just had two goals really which was finding her mom and being in a relationship. AND that’s not enough for a life! And besides me, lots of Indigenous women/2 spirit folks are super career motivated. So honestly that should be reflected in my script. So many of us are in or went to university, there’s like a definite drive to be community involved and working in some capacity. So yeah. Write what you know!

I should get some lunch here. I’m starved! And I’ve blathered enough in this blog to feel like I warmed up.

Worser, and better, and worser

Yeahhhhh so I haven’t written in a while. For those following Canadian murder trials, Tina Fontaine’s murderer was found not guilty. And that was like, another bad few days for me. Like it’s just a racist pattern that is entrenched in Canada’s legal system. I’m beginning to agree with people that street justice is a better idea. Also I’m a big marshmallow so like, even tho I take boxing classes, I’m not gonna fly to Winnipeg and punch that murderers head off. Like, no. No.

I mean, a lot of other stuff has been going on in my life, mostly career stuff. It’s interesting to me but probably pretty boring for me to talk about here, and also a lot of stuff is secret stuff anyway and might never happen. So yeah.

A little while ago my story editor mentioned I should watch Get Out again for structure and how scenes flow into each other, so I finally did that today. It was really nice to just watch a movie for work reasons, and I had seen it before so I was looking at it in a different way. I was able to pick up things this time that I hadn’t on the first viewing.

I’ve got a major rewrite happening pretty quick of my script, and I haven’t sat down and started mucking with it yet, but I am thinking it through most of the time. It’s about vengeance because of violence against Indigenous women, so like, these horrible trial verdicts are kind of fuelling my rage, and I’m hoping I can make something good and important out of it. Like I have known in earlier drafts my heroine is sort of reluctant, and that I need to get her more active and seeking things out and like, getting righteously angry. I think right now she is just trying to survive, but that’s not really the energy I want to channel.

Anyway yeah. Working on that. I’ve been hanging out at home being a full time stay at home dog parent. They seem to like having me around more.

I think I’m going to commit to my practice more. I’ve been dicking around trying to get women to like me and it’s been a pretty big failure ha ha. Okay, SOME women/people like me, but like, yeah, no, it’s been ridiculous. I wrote way too much in my diary about my crushes/interests this past year, like WAY too much, I am embarrassed to say how many pages are about that. And it’s just, I could justify it if this was actually the beginning of like, a serious relationship. Like okay, I could forgive myself for putting that much energy into stewing about feelings then. But this like, got all confusing, and there was more than one interest at certain times, and I didn’t know what to do with any of it, and every time I was reading my tarot cards about it I was getting The Hanged Man which is like surrender and being suspended between the past and the future and shit like that. And then most of the time it was unavailable people which is just, ugh. This horrible pattern I’ve had for a long time. And my friends were ragging on me about it most of this past year. So on one hand I do really want a relationship, and on the other hand I’m like, stuck. And it’s not working and I need to get unstuck so I’m just gonna do what I always do in that situation which is retreat back into my professional life and try to make better stuff. And not even to impress people, like I just always want to be better at writing and video stuff. I think I want to impress myself, and I haven’t yet. Like I’ve done some good stuff, but I feel like my best work hasn’t happened yet. And that’s not me shitting on my career, it’s more that I am just really ambitious about what I want to do with my life.

So I think I’m going to work really hard this year on these videos and this script. I want to impress myself.

Yeah. Anyway. I have boxing class this weekend, which will be good for me because we missed last weekend. I was showing a bunch of my videos at Pleasure Dome in CineCycle, so the next morning I didn’t feel like going to boxing, and then I had a meeting later that day. Anyway yeah, the boxing classes have been really good for me, even tho I am so sore the next day. I feel like it works off my aggression in a healthy way. And I like feeling stronger.

I’ve been such a crybaby this past year. I swear to God I cry once at day, AT LEAST. And it’s okay, like yeah, I guess I have to work through my issues. But fuck, it’s kind of intense and has just become routine now. Like, oh, I am writing in my diary, I guess it’s time to cry for a while. And maybe I am making up for lost time, because there were YEARS where I didn’t cry AT ALL. And I think it had to do with my medication. It feels pretty weird, to not be able to cry. I actually prefer this crybaby year to THAT. And I’m also grieving my grandparents, which is funny because when I cry it hasn’t been so much focused on them, as other things. But maybe that’s part of the reason for so many tears. The underlying issues. I’m just glad I switched to using hankies after Grandpa died, because my kleenex budget would be ridiculous by now. Or I’d like, be using dirty t shirts, which is also sad.

Anyway, the point is, I think this crybaby year is helping me find some kind of emotional balance. I think it’s been healing in it’s own way. And also connecting to my rage through boxing classes is helping me. I think the only thing that would make this perfect would be if I had someone to cuddle with. BUT YEAH see earlier paragraph about that. I’m pretty touch starved, but the dogs are really cuddly which is nice.

Ha ha I hope this blog post isn’t a downer. I am doing good, actually. Like things are working out for me otherwise. And even tho Canada is racist and unjust, I feel happy about being connected to the Indigenous communities here. I feel like we’ve been looking out for each other these days, and it’s nice.