Monthly Archives: September 2004

Kiss that Social Anxiety Better

Over the past year I’ve noticed my social anxiety running amok again. Le sigh. It’s pretty silly really, I get all queasy and my hands shake. Shake shake shake. Shake that booty. Damn, that would be funny, if my butt shook instead of my appendages. I wonder if it would be easier to hide. Someone told me that shaky hands are just a medication side effect. Could be true. Sometimes my hands shake when I’m not even thinking about being in public, with everyone’s googly eyes looking at me. It’s a bit of a liability when you’re holding a cup of hot coffee.

Has that ever happened to you? Holding something hot, like soup or tea or whatever, and you get all shaky or spill it on yourself AND IT BURNS!!! Ahhhhhh! But you can’t just drop it. And so you have to be all burning, finding a spot to put it down. Ouch!!! Kiss it better someone quick!

What’s with that, the kiss it better thing? Kissing something never makes it feel better, except that in your heart you get the warm fuzzies that someone cares enough to put their lips to your ouchie.

Is that even safe these days? I guess no one kisses gross ouches, like oozing bleeding roadburn from a spill on your bike.

When I was a kid my mum would always get so upset when one of us got cuts and the like. She couldn’t handle blood very well. She’d say “Ooo, eee, ouch, ah.” It was like she was the one who was hurt. I remember barricading myself in the bathroom so I could dig out gravel from my knee without her making me feel worse. Once my sister got all mad one day and threw a bowl on the floor and broke it, then stepped on a huge shard and cut the bottom of her foot open. Mom couldn’t even look at it, even as this huge puddle of blood appeared. (Okay, so this is a gross story) So I had to be the one to declare that we needed to go to the hospital. Have you ever tried to take a hundred and thirty pound angry bleeding mentally handicapped woman to the hospital? It’s quite an adventure really.

But that’s not about social anxiety is it?

Sometimes being crazy in public is kind of goofy, I’m all “ha ha, la le la la, don’t pay attention to my little hand quiver.”

It’s a bit rude to point out a crazy person’s symptoms. I’ve had people IN PUBLIC point to my hands and be all “LOOK AT THAT!! ARE YOU EVER SHAKING!! WHY ARE YOU SHAKING!” And I’m all “shuddup!”

Maybe I should get people to kiss my little hand tremors better. It would be cute if someone who liked me did that, just for your future reference, if you are someone with a wee crush.

“And to your left is a suicidal man on a crane”

These were essentially the words some friends and I heard from a bus driver, as he spoke into the p.a. system. Sure enough there were police, an ambulance, and the fire department, all assembled below a crane on a construction site. I caught myself straining to look at the would-be jumper. Dear lord, suicide as a spectator sport.

“He’s just below the orange part” the bus driver continued saying, as he slowed the bus to a crawl so we could all rubberneck this man on the verge of death.

And then we went dancing????

This city’s getting to me.

Energy and Bipolar

I need to go for a walk. A long walk. The kind of late night stroll where you listen to cds and take the quiet streets. My legs are itchy. I need to be somewhere, to go somewhere, and yet there isn’t a destination.

Somedays I can walk all the way to the downtown eastside.

Other days I can barely get to the bus stop a block away, sometimes I can’t even get out of bed. Sometimes showering is a lot of work, and not worth the bother because I’ll just get dirty the next day, and the day after, and so on.

I always knew I had probs with my energy levels fluctuating, but now being bipolar explains all. Amazing. I have the best excuse. And except for the little suicidal lemming brain issue that comes up every winter, it’s not really an illness that could kill me.

I mean, I suppose it could. A lot of people die from being bipolar. I suppose I’ve dealt with suicidal tendencies for two decades now, and I feel more equipped to deal with that than with being manic. Being manic is so seductive. Who wouldn’t want to be manic? A lot of the drugs people take mimic mania, like coke, or crystal.

This post has no point really, except to say I need to go have a walk, a long walk.

Elderly woman sexually assaulted – doesn’t go to police for fear of being committed

This (link) kind of thing makes me so upset. This elderly woman (76) was terrorized by juvenile boys and sexually assaulted, but was so afraid of being committed to a mental health facility again (after a previous sexual assault) that she didn’t contact police.

Only someone who has never been in a mental health facility could possibly think it’s a healthy space for someone to be in, esp. someone who’s just gone through severe trauma. Mental health facilities by their very nature were created as penitentiaries for the “insane.” They are not a form of health care so much as a form of segregation. And what does it say about hospitals that this woman was more in fear of them than the boys assaulting her? What kind of treatment did she recieve the last time she was committed?

I don’t know what else to say about it, read the article.

Dating and Mad Pride

So school has been taking up a lot of my time, along with keeping up with all my friends, and I haven’t had a chance to update as often. Anyway, I am sitting in a big mess, which I simply MUST clean up today. I did some of the readings I have to do for tomorrow’s class, and later on tonight I have to do a script analysis. So much work!

And in the middle of all of this, I have decided it’s time to leap headfirst into the dating pool again. I’ve been quasi available for a while, but I think part of me was too busy with me to be able to actually give anything to another person. And probably another part of my whole reluctance to date has to do with my weight gain from my medication, and wondering about when would be a good time to disclose my odd illness. People act wacky when they find out you are crazy.

Recently I ran into yet another old acquaintance who’s been relatively recently diagnosed with bipolar. It’s a growing trend. It made me kind of sad, because I think she’s really worried about the stigma.

Stigma is a sucky thing. And yet so many people who are really talented and lovely are bipolar, or another mental illness.

But then even I carry around some internalized stigma. This whole dating thing, for one thing. When do I say “Oh by the way, I am bipolar.” Is that going to keep women away from me? Will they make assumptions about how that impacts my life and therefore themselves? And finally, do I even want to date someone who has a narrow view of life, who demands impossible perfection?

Ugh, I still have this room to clean!! I should go do that now.

On the Rumoured Death of Identity Politics

Recently an old friend told me she was sick of identity politics. I wasn’t entirely sure how to respond, especially considering the vast majority of my work concerns identity and the power others attempt to wield over me concerning my identity. I wasn’t sure what to say because my identity is so fluid, ever changing and shapeshifting to suit my mood. Being on the borders of male-female, white and red, identity is something I wake up to every morning when I have my coffee and read the news. It’s something I struggle with every day, trying to navigate my way through polarized territories which other people rarely consider.

“Identity politics is dead.”

Recently during a conversation with some fellow mixed bloods we discussed peoples aversion to identity politics. Someone suggested it’s something people say when they are tired of being allies to those of us who carry around some intense identity issues. It’s something people say when they’re tired of hearing us out, tired of being a part of the struggles of marginalized populations, tired of us “taking space”.

And then there are other questions I have about identity, like, is my bipolar disorder an identity? Some people with bipolar disagree, they do not want to be defined by their disorder. However in my case I identify as bipolar because it has made as much of an impact on my life and how I view the world as being queer and a halfbreed and inhabiting a female body. It’s something I want to be proud of for forming and influencing who I am today.

So when someone says “I’m sick of identity politics, identity politics is dead,” what are they really saying? Are they saying that artists should cease making works about race/class/gender/disability/sexuality? If that’s what it means, I am seriously fucked, because I could talk about those things forever and still barely scratch the surface on what it means to live life as an Other.

And who decided identity politics was dead anyway? Probably someone who’s in a relative position of power in society, who doesn’t have to fight all the fucked up isms every day of their life.

As long as humans and post humans are struggling with hatred, fear, and oppression based on their identities, identity politics is relevant and crucial to artistic practice. As long as people ask me “What are you?” in regards to my race, gender, sexuality, whatever, identity politics is relevant. As long as certain people with certain backgrounds have certain privileges that others are denied, identity politics is relevant.

At a Coffee shop with Branta canadensis

I’m standing at the counter when who should walk up to me but a Canada Goose. It sort of plodded along, looking around thoughtfully.

“Did you know there’s a goose in here?” I asked.

“Yeah, we can’t get him to leave.”

Indeed, why did this Canada goose want to hang around in a coffee shop? Maybe he wanted some croissant.

Later in the day I saw an orange cat with six fingers. SIX fingers! It was so cute because it made his paw look so huge.

Animals are weird.

I had a disturbing dream recently about a little pig getting slaughtered and feeling so badly for it that I vowed never to eat pork again.

Then I woke up and had bacon.

Terrible.

Detroit Television warps the mind.

Isn’t “smoking a cigar with friends under the stars” such an elegant phrase? I found it in this article about the rising death toll in Iraq. It sounds so picturesque.

I hate American word processing software, because it is all the wrong spelling for Canadians and it’s slowly but surely colonizing us to American spelling through the spell check. Like colour vs color, cheque vs check.

American imperialism in our own homes. Sigh.

I remember when we didn’t have canned pop in Canada, and it was really exciting to get it in the States.

And maybe part of me, a kid growing up in Saskatchewan, watching Detroit television, thought that the Americans were cooler. They had such flash and glamour, and weird processed foods. And they were dangerous, always pulling out guns on a whim. And at Halloween they all ran around setting things on fire. Hell Night, I think they called it.

One halloween in Saskatoon I think some kid decided to try Hell Night in our back alley. I answered the door one halloween, expecting treat or treaters. Two skeletons, or maybe a skeleton and a ghoul(?) asked me for water. So I thought they wanted a glass. Then they yelled No, no, where’s your water hose? The back alley garbage can was on fire.

And I think it’s all that Detroit television Saskatoonians watched. It has warped us.

I mean, I was seriously scared of Americans, not only for that whole nuke thing, but because they just shot people everyday for any reason. And I thought Americans were all taking drugs, always snorting cocaine.

Canadian television was much gentler. And there was always something sexy late at night on french CBC.

Clive is Not Impressed

Clive is my very old rat, yet still he acts quite baby-ish for such an old guy. Anyway, he had a smelly cardboard box in his cage he was sleeping in, and today I bought him a new, special, “igloo.” It’s made of purple plastic. He seems to be able to fit it, but he doesn’t want to go inside. Keeps kicking it around, probably swearing under his squeaks.

Maybe it is too small. Either way, he’s not impressed with it. Fussy.

I finally finished all the tasks I had to do this week. Oh, except go see my doctor. Crumbs.

I bought this really high alcohol level Quebec beer today. I haven’t bought beer in a long time. Oh heck, that’s a lie, I had beer last Saturday at some opening. But this one is called Fin Du Monde. Isn’t that such an apocalyptic name? Oddly though, as soon as I got it home I wanted one of those C2’s. Damn. So now I am thirsty for pop. The four horsemen of the apocalypse in alcohol form will have to wait.

Oh, and the other TRAGIC thing that happened to me today was my c.d. player went A.W.O.L. I don’t know what terrible kinds of music I was forcing it to play, but it decided to desert me. It did this to me before. And it likes to make me look like a buffoon. For instance, once I was on the bus with a friend and I had just finished this five minute speech about the loss of my c.d. walkman and then I opened the front of my backpack AND THERE IT WAS. That asshole. Just smirking, like “Oh ha ha ha, Thirza can’t find anything of hers, she’s such a dork!”