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LGBT Pride/History. Enough Shock factor.

Let me start by telling you a bit about myself. I am a bisexual, Caucasian, Blue-Collar class, agnostic, assault surviving, homemaker. I identify as female (technically I identify as frustrated, tired, mother), and I am pro-choice on both abortion and adoption. You still reading? I’m shocked.

Social media is absolutely full of LGBT Pride posts, events, rainbow like buttons, and frames for your profile picture to show your support this month. Most of you already know it’s because the month of June is considered LGBT Pride Month. An entire month dedicated to celebrations and parades for the LGBT community. June was originally chosen as the unofficial celebration, initiating as an idea for a week long celebration to commemorate the stonewall riots on June 28, 1969 in Manhattan…wait, a whole week for one day? Yep, you read correctly; they gave themselves an entire week in lieu of one day, which has now spanned an entire month. US Presidents began making official declarations to honor “Gay Pride Month” starting on June 2, 2000 with president Bill Clinton. Jump ahead to President Obama, and every year a declaration was made to honor this month. Now, it is also in observance of the legalization of same-sex marriages back in 2015.

The official definition of “Gay Pride” or “LGBT Pride” is as follows: Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.

Now, I am all about having a positive stance against discrimination and violence against ANY PERSON. Every human being deserves equality and the ability to be themselves. Yes, I fully believe you are born gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, etc. I believe people need understanding of all races, sexualities, genders, and religions. Without history, we cannot grow and evolve and we are forever doomed to repeat our mistakes. But can I say I have “pride” that I like girls and guys? Not exactly, I am proud of who I am yes, but being bisexual is only a small part of who I am and who I will be in future years. Have I been cut down and discriminated against for being bisexual? Absolutely. I have been mentally abused by family, friends, and strangers because I “like girls”, I have been assaulted for it, called numerous vulgarities, if you can think of it, it has probably happened. I fought against myself for many years, because it wasn’t “Christian” or proper. All in all, there are many reasons to educate the masses on the LGBT community; however, an entire month dedicated to “pride” is excessive.

Pride is not so much about increasing visibility (believe me, the straight people and homophobes see us loud and clear), as much as shock factor by today’s standards. People all over celebrate, whether they be a straight supporter or part of the diverse community, they bring their children, wanting them to be exposed and be accepting or a part of it. So please, tell me where is it ok that my 8-year-old daughter see a man in a g-string and chaps with his penis hanging down in a sock type of contraption positive? When is it ok that the same 8-year-old, and the three-year-old see a woman marching around in barely any clothes, or nothing at all except body paints? This is not the image we want our children to think is acceptable. Pride is not shock factor, pride should be a willingness to accept and a longing to educate.

Fast forward to October. October is the official LGBT History month. Falling in this month to coincide with national coming out day on October 11. National Coming Out day was established in 1987 to commemorate the Second March of Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Also in 1987, October was commemorated in observance of the First March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation by LGBT people in 1979. LGBT History Month is intended to encourage honesty and openness about being LGBT. LGBT History Month is a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. LGBT History Month provides role models, builds community, and makes the civil rights statement about our extraordinary national and international contributions.

But wait, doesn’t that sound a lot like what Pride month is supposed to do as well? Yes, I believe it does. Why do we have two months out of the year dedicated to this community, my community? Pick a month. Either make June the official Pride/History month, or make it in October, but not both. You (speaking figuratively to others in the community) want dignity, equality, visibility and community? Stop acting a fool. Traipsing around with your boobs, butt, and sex organs out for the world to see is not dignified, it is not respectful, and no one will ever take you seriously. You want to look like that, then please take it back in the clubs and bars where children are not present. Clubbing and partying is one thing, but on a public street, marching for a positive image and acceptance is not the time or place to show out. When my children ask me why that person dresses that way, or acts like an over spoilt diva, am I supposed to tell them it is ok because they are LGBT? (And this goes for all walks of life) If you want respect, you have to show respect.

Why are we using the term Pride for a month of celebration/education? We have Native American History (heritage) Month, Black History Month, Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, Irish-American Heritage Month, Jewish-American Heritage Month, Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month, and Italian-American History Month. Do all these ethnicities and communities not have pride in where they come from too? Yet the LGBT community is the only one to have not just a History month but a Pride month.

But wait, Southern Momma, where is White-American Heritage month? That is a whole new pan of biscuits darlin’, but I will say this: In all these Heritage months we celebrate, we talk about role models, significant events, influential people in the distant past and not so distant (see role models), “white America” is taught and spoken of in most history lessons and schools. When we learn about the founding of our nation, the world wars, civil wars, etc., we learn about these people every day. The Heritage months dedicated to other ethnicities and communities is an opportunity to learn something new, to educate yourselves on something that was not commonly taught or even discussed.

“That’s a load of bullshit!” yeah, I hear ya. I hear you every damn time you scream it to the masses, but thanks to our society, the way we have raised our younger generations (mine included unfortunately), and the never-ending racism that spans all races and ethnicities, “white-american heritage month” will never happen, because anything a Caucasian person wants that might have anything similar to another movement, is racist and white privilege (another pan of biscuits my loves). So since I cant be proud of my skin color and where I came from (think not just white, but Southern Confederates), I hereby announce I will be claiming “Homemaker Pride Month” during the month of July (Not that I get the month off to celebrate running a household with young children in it) and I will be celebrating “Blue-Collar Worker Pride” in August (you know, when the school systems nickel and dime you to death with t-shirts, supplies, fund raisers, year books, etc).

To sum it up, to the rest of my LGBT community, pick a month. You are not any more special than the next sprinkle on my cake, and one month is plenty of time to educate on our history, as well as possibly show the world you are more than the stereotypical fairie, diva, and shock factor. I’m friends with many people from all different walks of life, and showing out, making a fool of yourself, scaring the straight people, doesn’t help what we are trying to do. Love is love, but have some respect too.

And now, at the end of my newly pariah status topic, I urge you to take the time to learn about the LGBT community, or any other group you find yourself uneducated on. I’m available for questions too, though I have a feeling my views are about to cost me subscribers and any standing in the community. All I have to say on that, is I hope to see you again and for those that I won’t, well…

Bless Your Heart. ❤

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Shopping 101

Shopping with a toddler and an 8 year old that thinks she’s grown is a tall order. I dread shopping days during the school year, but when it’s a long break like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Summer, I try to avoid it as much as possible. Last night, as I looked at the mostly bare shelves, I realized it was time to pull up my big girl panties, dress the kids, and head out the door to our local Wal-Mart and Cost 10% store. If ya’ll don’t know what that is, you are missing out. Cost stores are kind of like what Food World used to be when I was a kid. You get the food cheaper than your normal big box store, and they add 10% to the purchase price so the store makes a profit. I have this food shopping thing down to a science so I know what to get from Wal-Mart and what to get from the other store and have the cheapest prices; problem is, taking the kids to multiple shops is just asking for more trouble than it is worth some days.

So, this morning, I finally got the kids in clothes that didn’t look like they dressed in the dark and out the door. Only to realize I locked my keys in the house. This was already showing to be a promising day. I managed to force my door open without causing irreparable damage to the frame, grabbed my keys and off we went. Ten minutes later, I realized I miscalculated my gas I had left and had to pull in to the local Chevron that charges more per gallon. Thus, begins the first of many tantrums today; we grabbed drinks and went to pay for the gas when the toddler starts her fit for a snack. I know they are hungry, and had planned on grabbing something in a little bit, but my plan was derailed again. If you have never had children, or perhaps forgotten what it is like having a toddler at the age where patience does not and cannot exist, there’s nothing more irritating and embarrassing than the high pitched, squealing screams and crocodile tears while yelling out “I’m hungry! I want (insert item of choice here)” amid at least a dozen strangers.

We finally make it to Wal-Mart, and after fighting and struggling to get the three-year-old in the seat on the buggy, amid tears and screams again, we start shopping. Today, was quite possibly more disastrous than previous adventures out, as every isle was a new fit, a new want, or a new “she’s touching me” when she isn’t. Two hours later, we are leaving the checkout after numerous arguments of what kind of cereal to get, trolls brand everything we saw (I hate the name poppy now), three extra boxes of capri sun because we couldn’t pick a flavor, and special GMO free, wheat, tomato, and spinach “trains, planes, and automobiles” pasta. I was never happier to climb back in the car; at least until I remembered we had to go to one more store.

The last stop is our Cost plus store; and three-year-old, hereby referred to as pod person, asks me oh so sweetly to walk. I apparently had a lapse in judgement because I let her walk with the buggy. And she goes berserk. Suddenly, I have a child running in circles all over the place, giggling and hugging and headbutting her sister, and I’m getting laughs and patient smiles from other customers. I’m red I’m so embarrassed, but today is one of those days where the fight is not worth the solution; so I try to corral the pod person as best as I can and get done shopping. The lady gives me my total and I realize I did not move enough money into my account…and my phone is a glorified camera and alarm right now. There’s an extensive line behind me, looking impatient at this point as the cashier calls the manager over to suspend the transaction and I must explain my situation in front of everyone. Quietly is not an option with two very vocal and loud children arguing back and forth over a nerds rope candy they want. It took me about 15 minutes, but I was able to get somewhere to move the money I needed into my account and, thank the gods, we are headed home.

We arrive home, unload the car, and put the groceries away without incident; only to realize that the pod person has decided to refuse bathroom breaks enough that her entire outfit is now soaked. I am less than thrilled, and I am exhausted, but happy to be done with that for at least a week or two. It only takes all day to do something so simple in my little household. The thing is, it is stressful, there are times I lose my temper, I dread these days, but I would not trade them for anything. Why? Because my Neurodiverse family is my world, and if I didn’t have all the quirky and embarrassing moments, I’d miss them. Here it is, way past bedtime, and we just finished eating our supper…incidentally, its spaghetti with “planes, trains, and automobiles” pasta. I feel special.

This is Our ADHD

Living in a home where three of the four are diagnosed ADHD, there’s always a new story, a new experience. We have cried, we have yelled, we have cursed, we have laughed, but most of all we have learned. And no I don’t mean academically, though we did do that this year, I mean we have learned about ourselves and others. We have learned firsthand how different everyone’s adhd is from another person’s and how to begin to adjust and understand and show compassion.
Every day is a new battle, and some days, they are not worth it. Some days, the house stays a mess, the dishes don’t get washed, the clothes don’t get cleaned, but the home is more peaceful. Sure, there are pencil and crayon marks on a wall or dresser, clothes in the bathroom floor where they didn’t get picked up, and ten disposable cups on a table because teaching any kid, never mind one with ADHD to rinse and reuse that day is impossible. The toddler runs around with a pull up on her head and a bare bottom because “they like to” and potty training is futile, so we are thankful if we can get the pull-up back on the correct end. My older child may feed the cat three days worth of food one day trying to help, and it’ll be ok. My box of wine may be empty now, that one I’m not sure is ok. (:P)
When you pair ADHD with other comorbid disorders, it adds a whole new spectrum to the mix. Suddenly, I’m not just treating hyperactivity and focus, but anxiety, sensory problems, depression, and anger issues. Suddenly my ADHD has become ADHD and possible DMDD or Childhood Bipolar Disorder with Sensory processing disorder (focus on noise levels and textures).
It’s never-ending, and most days, frustrating. It seems like its hopeless, especially when you yourself have ADHD with underlying anxiety and depression. There are days you wake up and just want to hide in your room, under the blanket, for…ever. And during those moments, my girls pounce on the bed and cover me in kisses and hugs and affection, and I am reminded why I keep fighting for them.
This year was a struggle, and I have realized that the struggle at school isn’t because the teachers aren’t teaching…its because they are not educated and given the tools to accommodate children who have neurodevelopmental/logical or behavioral issues that don’t require special education classes. Yes, we have Section 504 accommodations and IEP, but even when they are in place and being applied, how much understanding and compassion do they really have? I had a person this year, who at one point looked me dead in the eye, and told me that ADHD doesn’t exist. That they just need to apply themselves and sit down and be still and hush. Yes, they were a part of the educational field. We need to help our teachers understand not just ADHD but other non typical disorders and be able to help all the students, without leaving those behind or making them feel ignorant and stupid.
My 8 year old, 9 in July, has an IQ of 101 and test’s comprehensively on educational testing above her grade level. Her grades on these tests were in range of 3.8 (math) to 5 (reading comprehension). Yet, in a classroom setting, she could not finish her work or would miss a lot of the questions, sometimes to the point of making an F. She would not pick up a book because the year before she was told she couldn’t test on chapter books because she took too long reading them. As far as the classroom testing environment, my kiddo constantly told me it was noisy (which for her could be anything from slight to major), but when I mentioned she needed silence and no distractions for testing, I was told it was impossible with kids their age.
We discovered Fidget’s this year. And they have been a lifeline. Her cube and her calming bottle were the biggest help next to her therapist. She now has a spinner, pipe cleaners, squishy things that are textured, and I have ordered a tangle and spinner ring. We plan on spending the summer finding exactly what does and does not work and implementing it next year. I just recently in the past year found out that Section 504 was a thing and offered (I was never told though school has known since Kinder she was adhd) though I couldn’t get it started this year. Next year, it will all be in place, though I hope for a teacher that is educated and has the proper ability to help a child like mine, all teachers need to be taught, because they are there for our kids, otherwise, why are they teaching?

Can’t Think Outside a Non-existent box.

    I have been trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do here for months. I have so many ideas running through my head and many different directions that I didn’t know how to approach this desire to write. Then I realized, that’s my approach, my views on life, whether they are just opinions, researched fact, experiences or anything in between are what makes me, me. I’ve given myself many sleepless nights and migraines trying to determine one specific area to focus on, when to be true to myself, I need to write on it all. It all makes up my very “Non-Neuro typical” life and personality and to omit any of it, is to hide part of who I am.

    So, the big question’s are: What is this blog here for? and What do I hope to accomplish?

What is this blog here for? Well, it’s a safe place for me to write and express myself first and foremost; Secondly, it’s to put a face to a reality a lot of people can relate to in many different situations.

What do I hope to accomplish? I would like to hope I could educate people on some things, to have a better understanding of conditions I have experience with or situations. Also, I want to be a face, as I stated, to many so they know they are not alone, that they will never be alone, and that we have a support system in ourselves; that, as mortal human beings, we have an obligation to each other to be there and help and love each other in whatever capacity we can.

    I have always loved to write, always had so many ideas running through my head both fictional and non-fictional, but I realized that when I got older, started a family, and got busy that I did not write any more, and I was very unhappy and depressed. So this is my attempt to start back doing something I love, about things I love (and sometimes hate); and maybe one day, I can actually have a successful career in writing.