hopeful

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icon: "hopeful (close-up photo of me wearing cat-eye makeup, jewels on my cheek, and a violet glitter goatee. I'm gazing off to the side with a hopeful smile.)"


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ADD-PI

for me, love and trust are separate

For me love and trust are almost completely separate, because I've learned that someone can have absolutely the best intentions and have ethics that I completely agree with, and yet they don't know themselves well enough for me to trust what they say: they can be wrong, or bad at predictions, etc. I can love them, and still not be able to trust them in many situations.

I trust people based on the situation. I know I could trust my dad to throw himself in front of me if someone shot at me, or otherwise literally die for me, and some people would call this a high level of trust, but it means nothing to me. I cannot trust him to respect my name or try to learn who I am, and that's what matters to me. A scenario that is extremely unlikely to ever happen has no bearing on my life.

I know there are people I can trust to care if I get hurt, but that's not the same as trusting that they will take any action for me. And I know there are people I could trust with every aspect of my emotional self, but I could not trust them to clean out my water bottle, because they aren't as thorough as I am. I recently realized that out of all the people I know or have ever known, someone I talk to maybe 3 times a year is one of the people I would trust the most when it comes to shared responsibilities.

I have seen how these things get tangled up, so I do my best to remind myself that they're not necessarily related.
ADD-PI

announcement: I'm now an omnivore

I'm not a vegetarian anymore.

11 years and 11 months and I was done!

Jessie Rose
Does it feel like a loss of identity for you? It did for me to some extent when I started eating meat again

Belenen
No, I never really identified with it as part of who I was. Also I had already realized that being vegetarian was bad for me like a year or two ago but I dreaded the transition so much that I kept putting it off.
I do miss having almost zero body odor but oh well. It's been pretty great to have my eyebrows start growing back in.

Jacqueline Hoyle
Why the change? If you don’t mind me asking.

Belenen
https://belenen.livejournal.com/696158.html
[image: livejournal's logo, a stylized pencil]
why I am vegetarian but do not recommend it for everyone / why I won't ever go vegan
here's a post where I talk about some of the nutritional deficiencies caused by not eating meat. I have been taking supplements for many years, but even the best versions taken in the best way do not absorb into your body at even half the rate that actual food does, because digestion is very complicated. In addition to the things listed in that post, I was deficient in minerals like iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium, as well as biotin, B12, b6, and b1.

I honestly feel that I have caused myself some serious damage by not eating any meat for so long. I hope that as i transition back, i will start to get back some of the cognitive function that i lost over the years.

Jaime Cooper
Wow! I’d love to hear about your transition back to eating meat.

Belenen
I have been taking digestive enzymes (pure encapsulation brand) with meat whenever I eat it and so far I have had no problems! I have realized that when I eat meat 2 days in a row, I have to increase my fiber or else my intestines will grumble. But that's pretty easy, I'll either have an apple or a fiber gummie.

Jaime Cooper
That’s good! Did you start with any specific foods?

Belenen
Yes! Haha I started with turkey pepperoni because it is the only kind of meat I actually like. Then I got my old favorite chicken taquitos. And Topaz has made me some foods using white meat chicken too.

Jaime Cooper
That’s awesome, I’m glad you’re finding some meats you like

Belenen
Oh! Funny thing that I have realized is that my body responds VERY differently to different types of meat. I ate a bite of Topaz's partial-beef burger and while it tasted fine, my subconscious started screaming like I was eating poop. Like that's literally what it felt like, but I didn't have a physical reaction just purely mental.
But then I ate a bite of dark meat chicken and almost puked, absolutely could not force myself to finish chewing and swallow -- I had to spit it out. My body said NO. So.

So far I have only really eaten white meat chicken and turkey pepperoni.

Laura Begley
regarding the chicken, dark meat has more fat in it (and more fat means more flavor) so that might be why you’re preferring white meat over dark.

Belenen
Huh! I didn't know that but it makes sense!

Ashe
If your body / taste buds are preferring lean meats, you may also want to try some venison. It is not usually sold in grocery stores, though some butcher shops carry some. If you have friends who are hunters, you can also talk to them about how they hunt so you know it is ethically sourced. When deer herds are not winnowed, and there are too many in one area, they can starve to death in bad times and otherwise just don't enough nutrition because there isn't enough to go around.

Belenen
I'm not sure that it's lean meat so much as being fowl? I'd be up for trying venison but not enough to hunt it down lol, I have a hard enough time eating without adding a search for hard to find foods *wry grimace*

Ashe Ida-Claire Wilson
fair. [Grin] but should I end up with some venison I will let you know if you want to try it.

Jay Bee
If I still lived in Montana I'd send you elk ❤ I find it much easier on my stomach than beef, personally, but I also hate venison. I struggle with meat because my body desires it but I think it's gross.

When I lived in Montana it was easy to get game meats at the local foodbank (out of state and trophy hunters donate their meat so its always plentiful). Feeding myself is already hard and anxiety inducing, so I don't look for ways to make it harder either, but ideally I'd like to be able to hunt or trade for my meat again one day because it's the only meat I've truly enjoyed and not felt digestional upset from...

Sending good feels to you as you find your foods

Sunny
I've been thinking about my own vegetarianism lately, and I do think I need to be more careful to ensure I'm consuming a balanced diet. (It's not BAD by any means, but I know it could be BETTER.)

I wonder sometimes if I will ever return to eating meat, but for me it was a strictly moral choice (literally having just had a weeping breakdown one night about how I couldn't consume animals anymore). I don't think I'll ever get past that, so returning to eating meat would be a constant source of sadness for me. I've got enough sources of sadness.

I think I just need to dive back into research and set aside snacks that I *actually eat* (it's hard with gastroparesis) each day that help fill deficiencies. It's going to be a lot of work and a lot of planning and just generally really hard to enact. I hate that disability is always there making things harder for me. [sigh]

Belenen
I feel you! Can you eat eggs?
ADD-PI

I downloaded the new LJ app

So far I like it much better than the old one for reading my friends page, but the post editor is bleh. I'll probably still write in color note and then copy paste in here, if I use the app to post.

Ugh no, I just realized you can't even choose an icon in this post editor?!?! Terrible!!

Ugh and the tags don't work.

P.s. if you hate people using the new heart/like feature on your entries please lemme know, because I like it as a way to say "I read this and especially enjoyed it or related to it."
snarling

don't fucking spy on your kids

icon: "snarling (a photo of a snow leopard snarling in profile with teeth bared, whiskers back, and ears flattened)"

As a parent, you do NOT have the right to spy on your child NO MATTER WHAT. I don't care if they are suicidal or doing drugs, that doesn't give you the right to spy on them. You don't have the right to read their email or diary or texts.

Not only do you not have the right, literally no good will come from you violating their trust like this. All they will learn is hyper-vigilance against anyone who wants to get to know them, and they will learn to see you as the enemy and they will learn to hide things much better.

Instead of treating your child as a wild monster that you're trying to control, treat your child in ways that make them feel loved and trusted and able to trust you. Things like using drugs and having suicidal thoughts are a sign that they need more care, better care, more experienced care, not control. CONTROL ALWAYS MAKES IT WORSE.

edited to add:

sometimes I honestly feel grateful that my parents were so neglectful and disinterested in my life. Because they did not value consent at ALL and if they thought they could control me better by invading my intimate thoughts or alone time they absolutely would have.
bodylove -- me (belly goddex)

my body parts don't have any gender

icon: "bodylove -- me (belly goddex)" (my bare belly and breasts covered in colorful washable marker drawings with spirals on my breasts and a butterfly over my belly button)"

My g-cup boobs are not feminine and do not become so when I put them in a bra. My wide hips are not feminine and do not become so when I put on a skirt. My body hair is not masculine and does not become so when I choose not to cut it.

Only I determine if my body and clothing has a gender and I emphatically reject gender for all my clothes, all my grooming and self-decoration, and all my accessories. There is no gender in or on my body and if you see gender here, it's because you're wearing gender-coated glasses.

Actually, my boobs are one source of big dick energy for me so *shrug* cogitate on that
curious

people make their answer based on the question given, whether it's gender or ice cream

icon: "curious (my face, looking straight forward with one eyebrow up and a sideways smile, head tilted down a little)"

Asking someone "are you a man or a woman?" is as illogical and leading as asking "what is your favorite flavor of ice cream, chocolate or vanilla? Circle one." When you ask a question and specify only two possible answers, almost no one* (statistically speaking) will choose an answer not given. But this is how people ask the question about gender, if they ask it at all.

Also, if you ask people "what is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Check one: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, praline, coffee, blank," you will definitely get more answers than just "chocolate" or "vanilla" but people will still mostly choose from the options given, even if that list doesn't make sense to them.

By framing the question in a way that makes being specific more work, you increase the barrier to being specific. Also, social desirability implies that anything on the list is more desirable than anything not important enough to be on the list.

So instead of making their own answer, many people will choose the one that is closest. For example, people whose favorite is rocky road may choose chocolate. Or maybe their favorite is a very unusual flavor that most people are unfamiliar with, so they choose the one that is closest while still being familiar to others. For example, my favorite ice cream of all time was Sheer Bliss pomegranate dark chocolate chip ice cream, but it is no longer in production and I have hated every other pomegranate ice cream I have tried, so I never mention it -- I just tell people my second favorite, which is not even a fruit flavor.

People will also take a cue on the range of acceptable options from the list -- for example from the list of five I mentioned, they may think that only single-flavor ice creams are being compared, so choose "coffee" because "mint chocolate chip" is a blend of two flavors. Similarly, I think many people initially describe themselves as "man" or "woman" because they felt like they had to pick the one that was closest, rather than define their own category. We choose from what we feel is the acceptable list of options and for many people that list is extremely short.

I am confident that if we stopped asking binary questions or asking people to choose from a short list, we'd find a much greater variety in the ways people identify, and a greater number that identify outside of the binary.

*I have loads of non-binary, neurodivergent, and artist/writer friends so I know this isn't true for most people who read me, but most people in the general U S population will not make their own line and write in their own choice!
Renenutet

there is no "safe space" from oppression: instead we need a safer space where we grow and learn

icon: "Renenutet (a relief carving of Renenutet, represented as a winged cobra, overlaid with a fractal coloring)"

There is no way to exclude oppression by sorting according to identity. There is no space that is safe for all people in it no matter how specific you get, because oppression is such a tangled web of interconnected forces.

I face oppression for being trans, queer, ADHD, autistic, hard of hearing (auditory processing disorder), anxious, depressed, non-binary, lower class, read as a woman, and fat. I face marginalization for being femme and gender-non-conforming, non-monogamous, and atheist. Not a single one of these identities would provide safety for me as a shared-identity group.

In trans-only spaces, I have faced classism, ableism, sexism, binary-ism (believing that non-binary is not real), thin supremacy, and marginalization. In queer-only and fat-only spaces, I faced all of those plus cis-centrism. In fat-only spaces, I have faced all of those. In non-monogamous, femme, and atheist spaces I have faced literally all of the isms that exist for me.

Non-binary spaces have been a safer space for me because anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD, and being poor are normalized, and of course non-binary people are affirmed as real, and straight cis people are not centered. However in non-binary spaces there is STILL a normative expectation of a "body journey" involving specific medical steps; there is a pattern of AMAB people feeling unwelcome or alienated due to being tokenized; being femme is devalued; and other oppressive forces like racism, ableism, and thin supremacy are present. Everyone is assumed to be non-disabled when it comes to sensory or motor disabilities. I have noticed that the thinner, white, masc-aesthetic AFAB people are more likely to speak up and come back and I feel like that means we are not providing enough sense of community to fat people, AMAB people, femme people, and people of color.

Disability justice has been a safer space for me because depression, anxiety, autism, and ADHD are normalized, and often being poor is normalized as well (but almost as often, classist assumptions are made). But there is still a lack of effort on the part of sighted, hearing people and people who do not have mobility or dexterity disabilities to make sure that all resources are accessible. There is still a stigma against people with cluster-B mental health diagnoses. Cis-centrism, sexism, and thin supremacy are common.

A lot of cis people can be accidentally hurtful and exhausting to be around due to their ignorance of trans-ness, but I have friends who I forget are cis, because they have put in real effort to unlearn habits that center cis people. And I have known people who are trans who make me feel incredibly unsafe because they want to enforce some kind of trans identity standard.

A lot of men enact oppression by talking over others, dismissing people, expecting to be served, etc, but I have friends who are men who are much less likely to do this than many women I know. That is because this behavior comes from being part of the dominant class and is just most OBVIOUS in men (where it is celebrated).

I have never felt safe from sexism in a women-only space, not to mention the lack of safety from cis-centrism and binary-ism. And I have read from many Black women and other women of color who have said that women-only spaces that include white women are usually (if not always) unsafe for women of color.

I do think that having groups where everyone shares an identity can be very healing and is absolutely necessary when that identity is devalued or erased. But there is no escape from oppression, and the illusion of escaping it only exists for those who are the most privileged in the space.

Instead of framing a shared-identity space as a safe space where people can be "free," I want us to frame them as a safer space where everyone is as open to recognizing difference as they are to recognizing sameness. I want safer spaces to be places where expressions of oppression are called out with the goal of everyone learning and growing, and the understanding that everyone needs to learn about their own privilege and change.
kanika kitty

facebook posts about Kanika, Feb 20 to June 6

icon: "Kanika kitty (my cat in profile with a blown-out background. Kanika is stark black with golden eyes, and looks like a statue of Bastet)"

Kanikas petting preference chart

[image: Cat petting preference chart with a line drawing of a cat, six colors in the legend, and name, Kanika. Purple means enthusiastic yes, blue means okay, green means maybe, yellow means "eh" or indifferent, dark red means emphatic no, and bright red means "I will bite."

The face, legs, feet, tail, belly, butt, and lower back above the tail are all filled with "I will bite." Most of the cat's flank is filled in with emphatic no over which are stripes of "I will bite." Around the neck and shoulders and upper back is indifferent, with stripes of "I will bite" along the neck and middle back. Along the back of the neck and top of the shoulders is maybe. Some stripes of enthusiastic yes are on the back of the neck just above the shoulders and under the chin above the chest. However, there are also stripes of "I will bite" on the neck.]
Feb 20, 2020, 1:48 PM

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The Lord is obsessed with fresh tap water and recently started observing my teeth brushing, immediately afterwards jumping on the counter and heading for the sink to lick up water drops. I found this really gross so I started giving them the "no jump" hand signal before they got on the counter, and then I would rinse out and refill their water cup right after I brushed my teeth.

Tonight they hopped up on the toilet to watch me brush my teeth as usual and when I finished and dried my hands and face, they meowed to remind me! I'm so charmed that they learned that they will get fresh water without getting on the counter by just reminding me. Such a clever cat.
Feb 21, 2020, 12:56 AM

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The Lord is such a jealous little copy-cat. They've noticed Topaz carrying their little dog, and now they occasionally come to me and ask to be picked up -- which they have NEVER done before (though they got more tolerant of it as they aged). It's cute and hilarious.
Mar 30, 2020, 2:16 PM

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Me being home all the time with Kanika's litterbox in my bathroom (attached to my room) has lead to me dealing with their poop almost immediately every time since I am usually within smell-range when it happens.

Now they think that this is to be expected, and they come and meow at me as soon as they finish. They also meow at me beforehand for some reason?? "Just letting you know you're about to be on duty, get ready!"
Apr 9, 2020, 4:32 PM

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Topaz keeps telling me that I've been exclaiming "what the fuck!?" in my sleep and today I figured out why. Whenever I do a big position shift in bed, Kanika comes and sticks their face, including their cold wet nose, on my hand!!

I thought it was just when I was going to sleep because they always come and get a good night pet after I first get settled in bed. But today I was close enough to awake that it woke me up and ugh, what a horrible way to wake up! Gross!
Apr 12, 2020, 4:08 PM

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I meant to get a colorful cat last time, after realizing how much harder it is to get a good photo of a black cat --

but then Kanika laid on their back in my hands and made eye contact with me for like 10 seconds as a TINY KITTEN and I was like oh well, guess I don't get to pick based on photogenic-ness. They are still the most eye contact-est non-human I have ever met.
Apr 13, 2020, 4:33 PM

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Kanika tapping my arm with their paw
[five-second gif of a little black cat with a small white spot at the top center of their chest, sitting next to me and reaching over with one paw to tap my arm gently as they look up at my face. They tap my arm once, twice, then go to tap a third time and put their paw down instead. Each time they tap my arm, their paw is outstretched and their claws are extended, but in a kneading motion: their claws barely touch me. Text over the bottom of the image says "look how fuckin gentle those paws are"]
Apr 14, 2020, 12:23 AM

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I overhear quiet rapid stomping in the kitchen and I turn to look at Kanika and sure enough, they're gone. Topaz and Kanika are playing tag SO CUTE OMG
May 3, 2020, 1:37 AM

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My weirdass cat uses the litterbox like this:

1) get in and scrape up a big mountain.
2) pee on top of the mountain.
3) jump out of the litterbox in an attempt to avoid the liquid running down the side of the mountain.
4) reach in from the side to scrape litter to cover it (usually badly).

I think this is because their parent cat's caretakers left their box dirty, so they never learned the right way to use it. Instinct covers the need to scratch but not the practical application!
May 15, 2020, 2:15 PM

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In an effort to get the Lord to stop scratching on the wrong things, I started giving them a treat every time they used their scratcher. They caught on quick and now if I don't notice and reward them, they helpfully remind me with a meow.
Jun 1, 2020, 12:37 PM

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Kanika's new favorite toy is a bent thumbtack. I know I'm gonna regret this when it ends up in my foot, but I can't take it away because I haven't seen them so excited about a toy in aaaaages!
Jun 6, 2020, 4:11 PM