29 March 2015

Here is the baby blanket/mom shawl of my dreams that I am going to try to knit for my sister. The yarn it's knit from is called Moriah and is doubled up, which is perfect for a child who is an expression of pure faith, (accompanied by the safety mechanism of modern medicine.)

My sister very, very kindly invited me to her 20 week ultrasound. That's the one where, if you like, they try to figure out the baby's sex, though she's not sure she wants to do that anymore. She's heard that when they tell you it's a girl it may still turn out to be a boy. I didn't offer my opinion (I would totally want the guess!) but was already going to wait to knit little sweaters and hats so that they would match the baby's hair and eyes. The baby's dad will be in Whitehorse, way up north, and may make a special trip for the ultrasound, but he said it was cool if I was there too.

This is an incredibly sweet gesture on my sister's behalf. I have a friend who told me years ago that it would take a major life event for my sister and I to form a relationship, and my sister is taking the opportunity now. I am happy to report that psychologically she seems to be doing really well. She seems to be keeping an even keel and has been gentle in speaking to me.

It is also a really meaningful gesture because when my youngest cousin was born there were life-threatening complications for the baby and mom, and my uncle's sister and I fell out after I visited the hospital. My cousin's parents said it was okay but I was so upset I missed the first year of his life. It means a lot to me to be welcomed on no uncertain terms.

10 March 2015

My relationship with this ex was hard, not the least because we were both rather severely depressed at the time and the depression would come out in ways uncomplimentary to a relationship. I made him low glycemic index soup when he wanted cocaine and he was there, across the country, when I was freaking out in the early morning hours, having become psychotic. He wrote me on my birthday to share thoughts about babies, the one my sister is carrying and the one he hopes to make with his wife, despite his depression, and I had nothing but kind and encouraging words. This is different from you and me, I told him, she brings out the best in you and I always love to hear about it.

06 March 2015

My sister is the one marginalized person who will give me the benefit of the doubt after voicing her reality. I really love her mama bear instincts and want to be able to fight with her.

04 March 2015

My sister will lose her disability benefits if she moves in with her boyfriend, as planned. And if they separate, any child support payments he would theoretically make would be clawed back by the government, limiting her to income set by the government. She's really stressed out thinking about this.
I had a really good experience at the place where I volunteer when I asked about the possibility of cultural safety training to better make indigenous people feel welcome in our space. Generally the population we serve is vulnerable, but this is especially true of our indigenous clients, who are both extremely vulnerable and have culturally specific expectations about how a person should act in social situations. One of my supervisors wrote me a long e-mail about various approaches, and then like magic, an advertisement for a free workshop on non-violent communication appeared in her inbox and she invited me along with her. I've already participated in a workshop on conflict deescalation but I think this one could make a bigger difference for me.

03 March 2015

Telling my sister that nothing she does is weak or bad, and that I want her to feel safe and cared for. She's feeling too poorly to talk to our grandparents yet, but has informed me that as of tomorrow she's giving up on jeans. Her child is the size of a healthy plum and has all of its organ systems formed. We joked that it is overachieving all of us with its rapid development of vital stuff.

02 March 2015

I just got all of the auntie support I was missing in two messages of 140 characters or less from a woman who is a rabbi and on Twitter.
I've spent the last year hanging out on Twitter. I had a close friend there and it seemed like the best way to communicate, in direct messages, but then the messages slowed to a trickle. Twitter is also a place where violence against marginalized people is focalized, and the marginalized speak back with volumes of hurt. I'm not talking about myself but about indigenous people, black people, trans people, sex workers, and all intersections thereof. I found, and all of the marginalized people at issue, who I care about, will hate me for this, that I became psychotic when I was misinterpreted (psychosis is more common among immigrants), that my education is useless in helping me speak, and that people who take a lot of abuse don't owe it to anyone to put up with clumsy interpreters. So, I cared, and I learned I was pretty useless. One resonant truth is that, "hurt people hurt people," but there are an awful lot of others out there doing harm.
My sister is having a baby. She had an accident caused by a psychiatric medication interfering with her birth control, and her thought was, I can do this. She has a psychiatric illness that consists of dramatic and very frequent shifts in mood. Her moods hurt me, so I have concern for a child that will be trying to become a person in relation to her. I worry about my sister because she is too sick to work and is depending on her boyfriend to make a life for them. Nonetheless, having a baby is a very optimistic thing to do, and I would be a horrible person to not get on board and try to help. I really hope that her love for her child gives her enough to keep talking about to give our family ways in.
I have found a stack of new notebooks I put away years ago. I need to take notes on all of my reading these days, my memory is so bad.
I am still wearing the same four big winter sweaters I've been wearing all winter. I am looking forward to changing into spring blouses.

01 March 2015

A nerve has been tangled in the wrong place between my shoulders for two weeks, and a few days ago the pain started shooting down my arm as well. The best decision I made today was to take a Robaxacet instead of two naproxen, though, to relax my poor messed up muscles.