Protecting My Health

Did you know that if your heart rates gets too high while sitting still, an Apple Watch will warn you about it? I’ve been reminded of this a few times in the last week. Twice yesterday alone.

This week has been … not good.

The news that Justice Kennedy is retiring has set my anxiety levels into overdrive. I’ve had a series of flashbacks all week that have just been crippling.

I have to deal with pretty severe anxiety at times. I don’t take anything for it (or even gone to see a doctor about it). I know what triggers it, and I do my best to avoid it. As long as I stay away from the trigger, I do pretty good as a fully functional person. I’m able to avoid it pretty well, so most of the time, I’m just fine.

The Supreme Court has been just about the only check-and-balance we’ve had left against the Evangelicals that run Congress, and the State governments. (45 isn’t an Evangelical, but he plays them like a fiddle and does whatever they want… and there’s Pence.) News that the last check-and-balance we’ve had left is about to fall has been overwhelming.

This (Justice Kennedy retiring) is the end game that Evangelics have been hoping for decades. Just knowing that the people I used to hang out with are ecstatic right now is… overwhelmingly awful. I spent decades having to listen to how amazing this moment would be. I can’t even count the number of times I had to sit in church and listen to someone pray for this moment. It’s gotta be hundreds, if not thousands of times.

My social media feeds have been stuffed full of people that are scared. Post after post. We all knew that 45’s reign was going to be bad, but no one predicted it would be this bad. It feels like we’re about to enter a theocracy unlike any in my lifetime in this country. Sessions quoting bible verses as justification for what they were doing is ultra scary.

The constant reminder on social media of what’s likely in the next 24 months (marriage equality being taken away or made much weaker, state laws being passed that’ll prevent me from using the bathroom outside of my own house, etc) keeps being thrown into my face.

I keep getting flashbacks to awful events in my life. Having to sit in a church for hours while I was forced to listen to someone preach about how gays caused 9/11. Having to listen to an old white man demonize women on “sanctity of life” Sunday. (You know, the Sunday when you pull up into church only to see a graveyard in the front?) Being forced as a child to memorize things I didn’t want to memorize. Having to listen to how people like me are worthless, and should be punished so harshly that not even death will allow us to escape.

This is the trigger that sets off my anxiety. My heart starts to race, I get really hot, I start to sweat, and I feel really terrible about myself. There’s not a lot I can do. I just have to wait and let it pass.

You can’t logic your way out of an anxiety attack. Believe me, I’ve tried. People telling me “oh, it’s not that bad” or “you’re crazy” or “you’re wrong” doesn’t help. It just makes it worse because it adds guilt on top of everything else.

It’s been happening so much that I’m starting to worry about my health.

I need to get away from the thing that triggers it. I’m going to cut way back on social media for a while. I’ve already taken my personal Twitter account off my phone. I can’t really do the same for Facebook, since East Bay Rabbit Rescue uses it to coordinate a lot of things, but I’m not going to be light with the mute button. My health is at stake. 😢

All the Same

Just a quick post this afternoon!

I’ve been on vacation the last few days, hanging out with my furry family. I’ve been getting close to burnout at work, and I really don’t want that to happen, so I took a few days off. It also gives me a chance to relax and get ready to attack MFM head-on for the rest of the month.

This morning, while I was in the shower, I had an interesting thought.

The people here with my furry family are all really different. So different that sometimes we butt heads on things, but we always make up in the end, and that makes it all okay.

I purposely have chosen friends and family for myself that are very different from me, and very different from each other, for the most part. It the uniqueness that I crave and enjoy about the cool relationships I have here. One of the things I frequently say is that I want friends that are different from me… people that are all the same are boring. I don’t want friends that are just clones of myself.

What clicked in my head this morning is that the life I have here is nearly completely the opposite of what I was taught in church. The church values everyone being exactly the same. We were all expected to talk the same, believe the same things (without question), dress the same, act the same, and if someone was different, it was our job to try to make them the same like us.

Being different is good. Being different means you are thinking for yourself.

Facebook and Life

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A few weeks ago I did a very healthy thing for myself. I deactivated my Facebook account. I didn’t close it – it’s still there if and when I want to go back to it – but it’s in a state of suspended animation for a while.

There’s a couple of reasons for this. The two reasons are kinda one in the same, but I view them as two different reasons.

The life I have now is very different than the one I had growing up. I’m very much a liberal atheist, and I am very sure of what I believe. I know what I believe works for me, and you’re not gonna shake me from it.

The life I had growing up was one of a conservative Christian. It never really clicked in my head. I was just mostly going through the motions because that’s what I was expected to do. There were always a few times when it was too much (such as “sanctity of life” Sunday, where an old white guy would lay in hard to the women in the room about abortion… I always felt so bad for a woman that was there and had had an abortion in the past and didn’t know this was coming), but by and large it was my world. I’ve written about this many times on this blog.

The thing is, for the rest of my family (outside of my brother), this is still their world. They still believe all of this stuff. Or at least have done a good job of convincing themselves that they do.

I use Facebook mainly to keep up with family things, and be able to see photos of my sister’s kids. That’s where the problem was.

Seeing the constant stream of “Like if you love Jesus” things, or the “thoughts and prayers” things, bothered me a lot, but by and large I could tune it out.

That was, until this election season came along. That was the other reason.

The constant negativity around the 2016 election that was ending up on my Facebook feed was too much.

I’m LGBT. I’m proud to be LGBT. I get offended when people run their mouths off about how Trump is the best LGBT candidate ever, when his VP choice not only supports, but funds Gay Conversion therapy. People that honestly believe this stuff are totally clueless and don’t really understand what it’s like to be LGBT in this country right now. They’ll post stuff like that, and then talk about how LGBT people are destroying America… that because we now have gay marriage, their god is going to destroy this country… just… stuff like that. 😦

I couldn’t take it. I bailed. My life has been a lot better ever since. The constant reminder that I’m an outcast and how my views are nearly 180 degrees out of sync was hard.

The last straw was the recommendation that I join the group “Christians for Trump.” I know that Facebook works off a social graph – and that since a lot of people I’m connected to are in that group, it suggests it to me as one I might like too. That’s just how it works… but it was a reminder how different I am than my family. I decided I didn’t wanna hang out with people like that anymore.

So now I’m back to Twitter, Second Life, and this blog. The same way I was for a long time before Facebook.

I joined Facebook for one reason… it was a sneaky way to come out of the closet to my family members. It allowed them to see that not only am I still around, but actually, my life is pretty decent, and I’m not a monster that’s out to anger their god. Or something. That whole thing worked! They now know who I am, and it’s mostly okay.

Maybe it was just time to leave.

I’m Dyslexic

Here’s an interesting and not widely-known thing about me… I’m super dyslexic.

I’m fine with words. I really only have an issue with words when I get extremely tried, and I’ll start swapping whole words randomly. Like I’ll say “table” instead of “horse” or something.

What I really have a problem is is numbers. I cannot read numbers out loud with any degree of accuracy. It’s very frustrating. I can see the number, I can do math with it, but the moment I go to say it? I’ll say it wrong nine out of ten times.

Even worse than reading numbers is someone telling me a number and expecting me to do something with it. This comes up at work all of the time, since I’m getting better about helping to manage my team’s workload using JIRA. My boss will ask me something like “who’s working on BUN-2932” and I have a really hard time with it. She knows it’s an issue, and says “oh right, numbers,” and will send it to me via Slack, but it’s terrible. Triage meetings are the worse when we’re going over huge amounts of open issues and trying to talk about them.

The things that are the hardest are numbers that sound like. “67” and “76” might as well be the same number to me. And “35” and “53.” (The word sixty-seven vs seventy-six. And it took me four tries to type that just now.)

I’m pretty good at coping with it.

I don’t allow people to read me numbers and expect me to do something with them… I insist they use an IM program to send them to me. IP addresses are equality hard. I won’t read someone an IP since I know I’m gonna get it wrong no matter how hard I try.

Some folks have picked up on the weird way I read phone numbers. My phone number as a child in real life was 360-1283. I would read it as “the six oh, twelve eighty three.” I break the second part of the number up into two numbers, each two digits long, which makes it two numbers to me instead of four.

I was a cashier in High School briefly, and I made people mess up on sooooo many checks. (Remember those?) I eventually just gave up and would point to the display on the register and say “this is your total.” And yet, I was one of the fastest around at making change… just as long as I didn’t have to say any of the amounts out loud.

It’s extremely frustrating. I’m glad my boss at work is willing to work with me on it. I’m a really smart person, but somewhere in my head the connection between the part of the brain that can process numbers orally and the part that does math and understanding is miswired.

So now you know! 🙂

My Feelings on the Super Bowl!

Super Bowl City

It’s the day before the Super Bowl, so I figured I’d write about it. 🙂

Normally the Super Bowl doesn’t mean very much to me. I don’t really pay attention to sports (other than baseball a few times a year), but I’m a bit more emotionally invested in it this year because it’s here in San Francisco, and I’ve had to deal with it. The Super Bowl City has the heart of downtown closed off, right in front of the Ferry Building, where I go to get to and from work. It’s been kinda a mess for the last two weeks and I suspect that when it’s all said and done, we’ll deem the Super Bowl a very expensive thing that cost the city a lot of money.

All that said! 🙂

The theme of the last eight or nine years of my life has been “be someone that makes you happy.” I like it when people are happy. Them being happy makes me happy.

I’m not into sports, and that’s okay. Most people aren’t into Second Life like I am, either. And that’s okay, too. Everyone being different is what makes life so much fun! If were all the same, life would be pretty boring.

If you’re into sports and the Super Bowl, then that’s great! I’m happy it makes you happy. You being happy makes me happy, too, so it’s a nice win-win. 🙂

I like being around happy people. That’s why I never say no to an invitation to go to a Super Bowl party, even if I’m mostly going to play with your pets and eat snacks. Playing with animals and eating snacks makes me happy, so it’s a win all around. (Plus some of the commercials are kinda funny. That’s neat, too!) To me, Super Bowl Sunday is a chance to hang out with people that are doing something that makes them happy, while playing with pets and eating snacks. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon, if you ask me. 🙂

I’ll never mock you for being into “sportball” or laugh at you for liking things I don’t like. I’m happy you like them, and that’s all I need to know. ❤

Practice, practice, practice!

Since I’ve been working on this site today for the first time in almost a decade, I decided to go look at an old version of it in the Internet Archive. (Don’t do that, it’s boring as heck.)

There was one page that had something I like on it a lot today:

“Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.” – Ray Bradbury

One of the old versions of this site had that quote on the top. I said that I hoped to be a great writer someday on the same page. I’m not sure if that ever came true, but I do receive praise for my ability to communicate things via written word at work. (They’re even starting to let me post things where customers can see it, something I never dreamed I’d be doing!)

I guess Mr. Bradbury was right. Keep doing something and eventually you kinda get good at it. 🙂

Welcome to my new blog!

I made some changes today!

I’ve started pulling some of the posts I’ve made throughout the years over to this site. I’ve had bunnynet.org as my domain since 1997, but mostly only used it for email in the last 15 years. (There was a site here long long ago, but it’s been forgotten to the ages.)

The bulk of what’s here right now comes from LiveJournal. There’s nothing wrong with LiveJournal, but I wanted to start collecting things on my own domain instead. I’m also able to make it a lot more “me” here, which is cool! I think I’ll keep on cross-posting over there for a while, at least.

Looking back at my old post is really interesting. There’s some at in the pre-2012 era where I was still very deep in the closet and are worded as such. I thought for a while about going back and editing them to swap pronouns and such, but decided to just leave them alone. It is a record of how things actually were, and it’s my own history. I don’t want to rewrite it.

For people have have been following me on LiveJournal, I don’t expect a lot will change! I’m just gonna write things here, instead. 🙂

I still gotta clean things up. I was never good at categories and tags, and I need to fix that. I’ll be tagging posts over time and trying to get my data clean.

Into the modern area of blogging I go!! 🙂