It Just Is

This blog post is all over the place.  I haven’t been able to organize my thoughts very well, so I’m just going to type, and what comes out, comes out….

For a long time now I’ve wanted to write a blog post about my opinions on the whole gender issue that has taken society by storm over the past decade or so. My opinions on it are not widely accepted in the circles I consider myself a part of, so I’ve kept my opinions and views mostly to myself to spare friendships. Furthermore, I’ve always prided myself on being a very open and accepting person to all walks of life in general.  I accept all races, nationalities, backgrounds, religions, lifestyles, economic statuses, and so on. But this has me rethinking how I view myself, as much as others. It’s been a struggle for me because I’ve tried so very hard to change my thinking, to adjust and come to terms with a few things, societal changes. But the more it’s shoved in my face, the less okay I seem to be with it all.

I think, besides a few rare cases, gender IS determined at birth, by biology and anatomy. I cannot generalize every single being, because intersex individuals exist… and the occasional truly transgender person does occur. But this whole millennial (and younger) generation thinks they are all a different gender than the sex into which they were born, and come up with dozens of words for every variation for their sexuality. And I think it’s ridiculous and has gotten completely out of hand. Where is the line?

Some may say since I’m a straight female (with bi-curiosity), I have it easy. I accepted my sex as my gender and therefore I could not possibly understand the struggle of those who don’t accept their own bodies. I can not argue with that, because it’s true. All of it. But I am also entitled to my opinions and views on the trend – because that’s EXACTLY what it is. A trend.  A societal trend.

What brought on my views and opinions, you ask? Well, to be honest I’m not sure. In high school I briefly dated a guy that began living his life as a woman not long after high school. I accept her as a woman, and have no issue with that. I know someone else who identifies as a man but cross-dresses, and I’m cool with him entirely….

But then, I have another person quite close to me that was born and raised as a girl, but has decided to request being called male in the last couple years. Perhaps it would be easier for me to accept that if they lived as a male in any way whatsoever. But they don’t. They still dress as a female, live life as a female, have typically female interests and attributes.  So I still use she/her and her birth-given name, much to her dissatisfaction and frustration.  Defending herself, she says she doesn’t feel identifying as a male should dictate her clothing style or characteristics… that she can be a boy and still appear to be, and act female… and still demand to be called a boy.  And to be honest that makes absolutely no sense to me.  How can she legitimately expect to be referred to and seen as a male when she does not put off a male vibe to anyone at all?  To me, it feels like she is making a mockery of the whole LGBT community, specifically the transgender part.  Most of the trans people I have come in contact with will live life as the gender they feel they are.  Since when did it become acceptable to just claim a gender and run with it, regardless of other behavior?  It is absolutely absurd to me.  Also, it is creating a lot of unnecessary confusion and controversy.  Where is the line where this is considered a mental illness?  Why is this newer generation so quick to make up new labels by the day to claim to be a part of? And why do people just accept this as the new norm?

This all may seem like a crazy rant of some close-minded person who give no fucks about the LGBT community, and that’s where you’d be wrong.  I accept gay, lesbian, bi, trans, etc.  The ones who truly fit with that.  I don’t honestly care what people choose to do in the bedroom, or what/who gets them off.  I really have never understood why that’s such a discussion point.  It’s no one’s business.  But the gender confusion of this younger generation is a sickness, a terrible epidemic.

The reason I haven’t expressed my views sooner is because of my own internal frustration on the topic.  I have tried over the last couple years to adjust and come to terms with it all.  I have tried to relax and let it be.  But the more I see of it, the more I can’t help but be frustrated by it.  And it makes me feel like a bad person, a close-minded, unaccepting bitch.  But I’ve finally decided that rather than fight myself on this, I am going to accept that this is how I think and feel about the topic, and if it costs me friendships and family members, so be it.  This is who I am.  Just like YOU are who you are.  We can be friends, or not.  The choice is yours.

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PS I’m not looking for a discussion, a debate, scientific evidence that disproves my opinions, or for anyone to “enlighten” me or change my opinions.  They are what they are.  Take them or leave them.

My Breast Reduction Surgery

On Friday, September 1, I was admitted to Grinnell Regional Medical Center in Grinnell, Iowa for a breast reduction and lift, and a Panniculectomy scar revision performed by Dr. Coster.  Going in, I was pretty nervous.  My bra size was a 36G and I was concerned with the extreme reduction I would lose sensation or experience complications.  But I didn’t.  The surgery went well, lasting about 4 hours and under general anesthesia.  Jarrod and my mom were both there for me when I woke up.  Dr. Coster removed about 1 pound from my right breast, and about a pound and a half from my left breast.  Here are photos of the progression I’ve experienced so far.  The results will only get better from here on out.

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As you can see, my Panniculectomy did NOT create the results you’d expect from a plastic surgery to improve the appearance of my tummy.  I was so fortunate to be able to have it repaired.  Also, I’m still really puffy, bruised and swollen from my most recent surgery.  I’ll update with pics in a few months to show how everything heals.  At first I was really disappointed with the small breast size I’m left with now, but the surgeon said it would all heal into a nice D cup, so I’m okay with that.  Not to mention, over the last 3 days I’ve adjusted to having smaller breasts anyway and it is so much more comfortable!!

Already I am experiencing so much less pain and discomfort than I ever did with my previous surgery.  I’m on day 3 today, and I haven’t needed my prescription pain meds, only Tylenol.  I have however been extremely tired and have needed a lot of sleep as I’ve been healing.  Luckily my kids and job are giving me time to do just that.  This surgeon really knew what he was doing, and I will be forever thankful for the wonderful work he did to give me my new body!

So In Love

Throughout my life I have involved myself in a few romantic relationships.  Some seemed good at first and withered.  Some were bad from the start but I settled anyway.  Some were out of loneliness or desperation.  Some were out of boredom and the desire for company.  But ultimately, none of them worked out in the long run.

There’s that saying “someday someone will come along that will make you understand why it never worked out with anyone else.”  I always wanted to believe that, but thought it to be a fantasy; an inspirational quote to keep people’s spirits up.  Until it happened to me.

And now, now there’s this guy Jarrod, and he’s like no one I’ve ever met before.  It started off very casually, working together and associating with each other only at work.  But as time went on, we talked more and more during our shared shifts.  We discovered through our conversations that we have been through a lot of the same troubles in relationships, parenting, just life in general.  We discovered that we have the same beliefs on the big things, like religion and politics.  We share a very similar parenting style, with a great love and appreciation for our children and family.

Then we started talking and spending time together outside of work once Jake and I split up, which is where things started to move very quickly.  Days have blended together, nights have flown by, just talking and discussing our lives, and finding strong similarities at every turn, which is still continuing today.  It was sudden, and crazy, but we know with absolute certainty that this will be forever.  Kindred spirits, soul mates.  There’s no denying it.  The similarities, the comfort we find in one another, the deepest unexplainable connection we share.  Being with him makes me realize why it never worked with anyone else, for real.  No fantasy.  And he feels the same way.  It feels like we were born for each other.

married83017We have had our children all spend time together which went well, as we both expected it to go.  And we are moving quickly on moving in together.  And the big news – we ran off to Colorado and got married on August 30th!  Because face it, life is too short and unexpected things happen, and neither one of us wanted to waste time getting wrapped up in overthinking and hesitation over something we both know will certainly last the rest of our lifetime.  We had a very private ceremony – only the 2 of us, and later on will throw a wedding for all of our friends and family… likely on our 1- or 2-year anniversary.

The trip was great! I had never been to Colorado, and Jarrod hadn’t been in many years. We drove there and back, and stayed in a beautiful bed and breakfast called Meadow Creek Mountain Lodge.  It’s just southwest of Denver.  The bed and breakfast had a hot tub, a heavenly king sized bed, and the owner was a pretty great guy too, and made a wonderful breakfast for us.  We were able to run around Denver a bit and shop for our rings, and have supper there in Denver.  Then we enjoyed alone time and slept in before we had to head back to Iowa.

We have both agreed to put this blog post out there for the public because we both know there will be people in our lives who will not understand why we would move so fast, or make such a crazy, bold, impulsive decision.  We are both very aware that is what we are doing.  But we are here to say that it is OUR decision to make, and we would love your support and understanding, whether or not you understand our reasoning.  We are very thrilled with our decision, and don’t regret a thing!

Drama!

So I broke up with my boyfriend of over a year, and started seeing someone else.  I’ve gotten quite a lot of backlash, and to be honest, all those people who wanna be jerks about my decision to do that can go to hell.

The relationship I was in for this past year was never meant to be.  When I was left by my husband last summer, I sought the companionship of an old friend.  I needed someone to talk to about it all, and someone to keep be busy and distract me from the mourning of my lost marriage.  I never wanted it to be anything more than that, and in my fragile and heartbroken state, he sortof pushed his way into a relationship with me.  I coasted into it without much thought and rode it out.  It didn’t take long for it to be emotionally and psychologically abusive.  He started by pushing my closest friends away, though they just stayed away from him not me, it still made it harder for me to spend time with them.  He would throw a fit every time I wanted to spend time with them and not him.  Then he started terrorizing my family by throwing all-out rage fits.  Throwing things, breaking things, kicking our belongings around the house.  In January he left, but I was so lost at that point in my life that we got back together.  He had me under his control at that point, and I didn’t know how to break my cycle of wanting to be with him, but knowing I deserved better.  He continued to pick fights with me, and I would plead with him to just tell me what I needed to do to make him happy, how to appease his mood swings.  He would tell me ideas to cope with it, I would try them the next time, and it would set him off worse.  He ended up alienating my children from me in my own home, my sister entirely by threatening her physically, and was in the process of pushing my mom away as well.  I still tried hard to make him happy, to ease his chronic anger, to make him see we could live a happy peaceful life if he’d just calm down.  But it was all for nothing.  The breaking point was my recent extreme paranoia in public when I would talk to people he didn’t like me talking to.  And knowing my kids deserved better, and deserved to see me happy.  I knew then I was in a very bad state and it must end.  So I pulled the plug, knowing it would result in a BIG blow up on his end.  I did my best to stay away while he packed his stuff and moved out of my home.  But even up through today, he chooses to continue to send me threatening and insulting text messages and emails.

And now I’m dealing with severe criticism from anonymous people and not-so-anonymous people.  Saying I shouldn’t man-hop, and I should be comfortable being alone.  But here’s the deal: I am NOT afraid to be alone.  I’m quite self-sufficient as a matter of fact.  I am comfortable in my own solitary presence, comfortable in my own skin, and quite confident in my ability to provide for my family in every way they need it.  Being happy with myself is not something I lack.

In terms of the someone new: again people want to judge without knowing the story.  But I’ll save that one for another post, because he’s not even in the same category as my recent breakup, or anyone else from my past.  He deserves his own space to be bragged about, because he’s something amazing.  He’d have to be, after the HELL I’ve been through, to be able to truly capture my heart the way he has….

 

(Comments have been disabled for this post.  I’m tired of the bullshit.  Read it, but unless you have something positive or supportive to add, I don’t wanna hear anything at all.)

Summer Catch-Up

Well, here it is, 3 months after my previous blog post.  It’s been a pretty busy summer around here.  We didn’t have any exciting week-long vacations or anything like that.  Hell, the kids have barely gotten off electronics enough to notice its only a couple weeks away from school starting again.  But I’ve sure stayed busy.

Once I was released to go about my normal activities after my big surgery, I found plenty to do.  Most of it just little stuff, day to day.  Hanging out with friends, going swimming with the kids, going for rides with my man.  I got a job delivering pizzas for Pizza Hut, so I’ve been doing that for a few weeks now in the evenings.  My boss and co-workers are pretty cool about taking it easy on me so I can sit when I need to, to rest my back and my hips.  Its definitely a blessing.

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Andy and I in the front, right, riding the Monster at Adventureland.

We had all the my boys’ birthday parties here at our home.  Andy’s was in May, Evan’s was in July, and Cory’s was this month, in August.  All went well, and smoothly.  For all of them I invited friends and family and grilled burgers and hot dogs out on our deck.  Then we had cake and ice cream, and did the gift giving thing.  I think for the most-part the boys got what they wanted.  Andy’s big present this year was one of the new 3DSs.  Evan’s was a trip to Adventureland.  And Cory’s was a new tablet for gaming.  Photos for all of the birthdays, and everything else I’ve done all summer (and all future activities) can be found on my Instagram.  I update there quite frequently.

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Jake and I at the Freedom Rally, 2017

Jake and I went to the Freedom Rally in Algona, IA in June/July.  It was my first time at any big rally, and I must say it was not at all what I expected.  It was a really chill atmosphere.  Everyone was happy and easy-going for the most part.  We had a really good time.  Good food, good music, and a great weekend of camping.  I look forward to going with him again next year!

Still to come, I’m hoping still to take the whole family camping, maybe next week, if even for only one night.  I have a weekend planned for HearthsOPhyre in Conesville, IA during the last weekend in September.  Its similar to Burning Man, only on a smaller scale and local.  Also, I scored us some Hollywood Undead concert tickets for October, and I’m looking forward to seeing Highly Suspect again in November, as they have become my favorite band.

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Not exactly the results I had in mind from my Panniculectomy. (4 months post-op)

On the health and wellness front: I’ve applied for disability since the outlook on my hip dysplasia is chronic worsening pain for at least another 20 years until they are so arthritic they need surgically replaced.  In the meanwhile I’ve had physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around my hips to better cope with the deterioration process.  I’ve been told since my hips are bad in the way that they are, my other joints will likely have similar problems as I age, and I’ve already starting having shoulder and knee pain.  So I’ve had physical therapy twice a week for the hips starting just recently, and physical therapy for my upper back, shoulders and neck for 6 weeks prior.  That is for insurance purposes to get me qualified for the breast reduction.  Which has been officially scheduled for September 1st!!  3 weeks from tomorrow I will be having the breast reduction to a C-cup, and the surgeon will also be doing a “scar revision” to take off some of the loose skin that was missed when I had my Panniculectomy, and straighten out my belly button.  I’m not too nervous about the belly area because I know what to expect, but I’m extremely nervous about having the breast work done because it such a delicate area.  I want it to be perfect, symmetrical, and I want to keep sensation to the area.  I worry too much about things anyway, but I really want this to be done well.  I have a different and more experienced surgeon this time, so I have higher hopes for a much better outcome.  I would post pics, but that could get my blog in trouble for mature content.  I’ll try to post reasonable, censored before photos on my Instagram before the surgery.

So that’s the update and what’s to come!  I know some of you have been bugging me for an update, so there it is!  Sorry it’s taken me so long to get some time to sit down and type it out.  I know I will have plenty of time to type in September, as I have to take pretty much the entire month off for recovery.  So I’ll seeya then!