Isolated

Chronic illness is isolating.

I have spent the majority of the past five years alone, in a dark room. I no longer attend high school, and I don’t talk to any of my old friends. I’m not saying these things for pity, or sympathy; they are just simple facts.

Chronic pain keeps me from doing or enjoying pretty much everything I used to. I got sick during the transitional time from elementary school to middle school, so making new friends became really hard. Now that I’ve started online school, I don’t see anyone from my old high school or talk to them. The only “new places” I’ve been going are doctors offices – so I don’t think I’m gonna find any new friends there, but hey ya never know.

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After a few months/years friends and family get tired of asking me how I am feeling. They assume I’m gonna better, and forget I’m sick. But I don’t forget; I don’t have that luxury. They get tired of hearing me say “I’m in pain” or feel fatigued. They no longer want to know about my doctors visits or hospital stays. I don’t blame them, the never ending cycle of chronic illness is tiring and generally negative. Friends were the first thing I lost. A few close ones stuck around a couple of years, but now they’re gone too. My immediate family is still here for me, but my extended family never asks how I am anymore. I don’t need/want them to make a big deal about it – but it would be nice if they’d ask about me every once in a while.

Being alone almost all the time makes going out in public hard. I’m sensitive to noise, and the world is one big ball of sound. I never had social anxiety before, but now it’s exhausting being around other people. I feel emotionally drained even being around family. I know I’m gonna have to get over this, because I can’t stay in my room at my parents house for the rest of my life. I want to go to college and get a good job. Both of those things are gonna have to involve being around other people on a daily basis. I can have a negative outlook on life, and when a lot of negative things are going on it makes it 10x more difficult to act cheery and positive. .

If you find chronic illness isolating – you’re not alone. I’m here and probably in my pajamas.

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

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A is for Ally?

The acronym for the Queer community, is forever changing. Some people like to use LGBT, because that’s what it’s been for a long time, while others use LGBTQ+, since queer encompasses the whole community, and the plus sign makes up for any letters left out. The longest one that I’ve seen (that is widely used) is LGBTQIAP, standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and pan/polysexual.

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That’s a mouthful! I typically use LGBTQ+ since it encompasses everyone without being ridiculously long. One issue I’ve seen queer people argue over is what the “a” stands for. Some argue it should be for ally, others chime in with, “don’t forget about asexuals,” and then there are people who think it should stand for both words.

I don’t consider the “a” to stand for ally at all, because they aren’t queer. Allies are great, and incredibly helpful at helping Queer people get their voices heard, but they already have straight/cis privilege, so why should they be considered LGBT? If allies who are straight and cis are considered LGBT, then you’re saying everyone but homophobes are part of the community, and I don’t think that’s true.

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Being asexual carries a lot of stigm, but since I am not asexual I do not feel comfortable speaking for the community. Asexuals receive hate, and prodding questions, just like everyone else in the queer community, so why shouldn’t they be included? I’m not trying to be the “identity police,” but I think that members of the  queer community  should be just that, queer. I’d like to live in a society where we don’t erase others identities, and instead accept every gender identity and sexuality.

I’m thankful for allies, but I think they have their places as friends, family members, and acquaintances, but don’t need to be considered part of the community. The LGBTQ+ community bans together because we are all “different” from the majority in regards to sexuality and gender. Including people are straight and cis, in my opinion only discredits the whole point of establishing ourselves as a community. Being queer doesn’t make you any better/worse than a straight/cis person, but it does put a target on your back, and being in community with those who have similar experiences is important. If you’re straight and cis, use the space you take up in society to help those who’s voices aren’t as heard.  Let me know your thoughts on the acronym conundrum.

Lot of Love,

Alyssa

Killing the Killers? : Death Penalty

Imagine this scenario.

You’re a child and get in argument with your sibling. They do something that you don’t like, and you hit them. One of your parents are in the next room and see this all take place. They come over say, “we don’t hit each other,” and then they hit you as a punishment. What a hypocrite, right?

I feel like the issue of the death penalty should be just as black and white. Why do we murder, murders? I don’t believe in killing anyone, regardless of the crimes they commit. Killing someone is not an adequate punishment for any heinous crime.

Rotting in a prison cell is much more of a consequence than the death penalty.  Plus there are criminals who want to be martyrs for their crimes, and I don’t think we should give them that luxury.  You never know others circumstances in life. While there isn’t a good excuse to hurt others, there are situations in life that can completely mess with ones psyche, and cause them to do things they would never do if their mental health was under control. Being in prison gives people a chance to change and get the help they need. The prison system in America may be corrupt, but I honestly think that a life sentence is a better penalty than death.

The Death Penalty is legal, because it is not considered “cruel or unusual punishment,” which Americans are protected from under the eighth amendment. This is without a doubt in my mind both cruel, and unusual. Once a life is taken, you cannot bring it back; what part of that isn’t cruel? I also find it “unusual” to kill someone in response to them killing/ torturing someone else. Where’s the logic in that?

I think our justice system should spend more time helping people rebuild their lives, and less time playing God. We shouldn’t decide when others die, that’s God’s decision. Living in a society that builds each other up, and helps one another pick of the pieces of life when we make mistakes, is something that I think would change lives. Let me know your thoughts on this topic, and your argument one way or the other.

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

 

That’s Christmas to Me

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is upon us, and in full swing. I hope you’re having a great holiday, and spending time with someone you love. Here are some little things I love about Christmas – and try to remember in order to make stressful holidays more enjoyable.

 

1.The Smell of Fresh Pine

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Every year my family gets a real tree, and the aroma of the fresh pine fills our house – both with holiday joy and lots of sneezing! Plus how cute is Sophie?

 

2. Hot Tea

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I am a tea person, as coffee gives me a migraine. There is nothing better than drinking a cup of warm tea when it’s cold outside. My favorites are green, chai, and citrus.

 

3. Pentatonix

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If loving Pentatonix Christmas albums makes me basic – then so be it 🙂 I have seen them in concert, and they are such talented individuals. My favorite songs are White Winter Hymnal, That’s Christmas to Me, and Hallelujah.  Listening to them always puts me in a cheery and festive mood!

 

4. Dessert Galore

My mom is an amazing baker and cook. The rest of my extended family – not so much. Since that’s the case, my mom makes all the desserts for the holidays. Everything from pie to cookies, and fudge has been made over the years, and it’s always delicious. Calories don’t count at the holidays, right?

 

5. Christmas Movies

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It doesn’t matter how cringey it is, if it’s Christmas related, I’ll probably watch it. We watch “A Christmas Story” every Christmas Eve, which is my favorite holiday themed movie. I also really enjoy Elf, Christmas with the Kranks, and the animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

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6. Family Time

It doesn’t matter how crazy they drive me – I will always love my family. At the end of day I am grateful for everyone of my family members and the time I get to spend with them. Not everyone has a great family support system behind them, and while I can’t imagine how that must feel, I know those people will meet others who will love and appreciate them forever.  I don’t think blood makes family; unconditional love does.

 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Chuanakah. Let me know how your holiday has been/ is going!

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

Merry Christmas Eve!

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Merry Christmas Eve, and Happy Chanukah!

If your house is anything like mine, then you’re probably rushing around trying to get everything done for the big day tomorrow. I always prefer Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, because my favorite part of the holiday season is the candlelit service at our church. The festive hymns, and the story of Jesus’s birth always put me in a good mood, and help me to take a step back and examine what Christmas is to me.

Since my faith and religion are very important to me, most of my Christmas celebrations involve talking about Jesus, because it’s kind his day, ya know? I find the story of Jesus’s birth very empowering as a woman. Mary was a virgin, and only a young teenager, yet she brought the greatest gift to the universe into the world. She gave birth in a manger – and all without any pain meds, or medical professionals to help her might I add. Mary was completely obedient to God, even when she afraid, and is responsible for raising the son of God. If that isn’t crazy , I don’t know what is! God could have chosen anyone or any way to bring his son into the world, but he chose a young, woman living in poverty, and I think that’s beautiful. Women weren’t respected back then, and were treated as property, but God gave Mary the greatest task of all, and she responded with nothing but complete faith and trust in the Lord.

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Every Christmas Eve my immediate family always watches “A Christmas Story.”  I could probably quote the whole movie from start to finish, but it’s still one of my favorite traditions we have. We even have a miniature leg lamp as a decoration upstairs during the holidays. Sitting around the TV, while the fireplace going, all laughing and commenting on the movie, always brings me lots of joy. As crazy as my family can drive me, I truly cherish the moments I get to spend with all of them.

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I hope you are having a good holiday season, if you celebrate any holidays in this winter. And if the 24th-25th are just regular days for you, I hope you do something fun, and have a good time. Christmas is always a joyous time for me, and I pray that whatever your situation may be,  you find a little glimmer of happiness or positivity this holiday season.

Wishing You Lots of Love and Joy this Christmas Season,

Alyssa

Words Carry Weight

This is a follow up to my post on political correctness and respect.

So often I hear people use the phrase, “actions speak louder than words,” and while  harmful actions can be more dangerous  than harmful words, there are consequences for our speech. Using derogatory language continually oppresses people groups, and spreads stereotypes.

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Saying things like, “you’re so gay,” subliminally teaches young LGBTQ+ people  that their identity is” wrong” or “shameful.” While saying something along those lines may be in jest and is often not meant to be harmful, those words have consequences. The consequence in this case, is teaching those our queer youth that their identity is a joke or something to be ashamed of.

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Our President-Elect Donald Trump is often backed by his supporters when he says outlandish and harmful things with comments like, “Trump isn’t actually gonna do that,” and “anyone would make big promises to get elected.” To some extent he doesn’t have to do all these crazy things he promises to hurt people;  these words are already causing harm. Saying you’re going to make all Muslims register like Hitler did with Jews during the Holocaust is without a doubt harmful. It spread stereotypes that Muslim people are terrorists, and should be criminalized due to their faith. Also people who are easily  influenced by others, can be “brainwashed” into believing this kind of hateful rhetoric – and it creates a society in which bigots think it’s okay to be bigots. It also sends a clear message to American  Muslims that there is a large portion of the American population who doesn’t care about their well being, and that is beyond harmful in and of itself.

The words you choose impact those around you, far more than you will ever be able to see. Bullying someone or saying hateful things can be the last straw that drives them suicide, or self harm. Using over generalized statements about a people group can cause those who belong to a particular group to feel negatively about things they cannot change. Every thought you have doesn’t need to be voiced- especially when you know those things can be harmful to someone else.

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Even if you say something you didn’t think was offensive, if another person is genuinely hurt by your words, you don’t get to decided that they’re in the wrong. There are no “wrong” emotions and people are allowed to be hurt by you. People may not always remember what you say, or do, but they will remember how you made them feel.

I can recall many times that someone made me feel small or unwanted when I was younger. I now have a generally indifferent attitude, so other peoples opinions of me don’t hit that deep. Having that kind of attitude is definitely a defense mechanism, but hey it works for me.

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My Queen 🙂

Think before you speak. It’s really that simple. Be conscious of the effect you have on others around you. I believe everyone should put love and positivity into the world, even when they are receiving hate. Getting revenge only makes us stoop to the levels of those we condemn.

Lots of Love,

Alyssa

Where is the love?

I’m tired of seeing hate and bigotry all over the news.

I’m tired of seeing hate crimes, and racial targeting.

I’m tired of seeing innocent lives being taken, and then justice not being served.

This morning I saw a video of an altercation between a white cop and a black woman in Fort Worth, Texas. The woman had called the police after her white neighbor choked her seven year old son, because the boy didn’t pick up his trash when the neighbor told him to. The situation escalated quickly after the cop questioned why it was wrong for the man to choke her son, then he put the woman and her daughter in hand cuffs, and threw the mom on the ground. Let that sink in. This cop looked a mother in her eyes and asked why is was wrong for her child to be choked, and then put her in handcuffs. While in the end (as far as I’ve seen) the cop didn’t shoot or injure anyone, unlike many cases of police brutality that have taken place this year, he still sent a clear message to not only this family, but all of America, that black lives don’t matter, and white people are allowed to terrorize and abuse minorities.

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Now these incidents of police brutality aren’t new; the news is only now beginning  to cover these stories. Every week, if not everyday, there is a new hate crime being committed by officers and every day people towards minorities in America. I don’t think all law enforcement is bad, but this past year I have seen more harm than good.  Police officers are power hungry, and their go to emotions are often hatred and hostility. Every experience I’ve ever had with a cop as a white woman in America has been negative. We aren’t adequately training our officers, and they are becoming “trigger happy,” and killing innocent black people left and right, and then not being indicted. How are police officers supposed to “keep us safe” if they are a huge part of the problem?

I will never know what it is like to be black in America, but I do know I am terrified every time I see a cop car, and I can’t imagine the kind of anxiety minorities must feel. Police officers are afraid of black people, due to their own racism and bigotry, and in return black people are often afraid of police officers because cops are killing their friends, family members, and neighbors unjustly. Black lives matter. I will never understand how someone can respond to that statement with, “no, all lives matter!” Saying black lives matter does not negate the fact that everyone’s life has value. It simply states that black lives do matter, are important (especially right now), and it is a movement for racial equality.

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Where is the love? And why are we letting our fellow Americans get murdered? We are all human, and race, sex, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, class, or age shouldn’t change how we treat one another. The amount of racism in America shakes me to my core, and I will never understand the hatred in some peoples hearts. Everyone deserves love, respect, and equality.  As cheesy as it may be, I really love the Black Eyed Peas song, “Where is the love?”

“But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you’re bound to get irate, yeah”

Why has it been okay to discriminate against one another? Since our new President is being inaugurated soon, I believe the American people need to band together for the greater good, instead of continuing this great divide. Fighting one another will only cause more harm, and so far it’s getting us no where. Every life has value, and black people deserve to be treated justly and have the same rights as every white man. I want to live in a world where we are all equal, and bigotry isn’t tolerated

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Love your neighbor as yourself, and treat everyone with respect. Do no harm, and fight for others rights. I want to see more white people calling out injustices, and less innocent people being killed.  We may say “liberty and justice for all,” but I have yet to see a society in which that is true.

Lots of Love to Everyone,

Alyssa

 

P.S. This somehow got deleted and I had to write it again. It was better the first time, but I hope you still enjoy it.