Weekly Open Thread with Fantastic Library

This week’s Open Thread host is the Vennesla Library and Cultural Centre, a multipurpose space designed to connect pre-existing community facilities and encourage people to walk through the space as well as read and attend events there. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

a very modern library full of light and interesting curved structural shapes

Vennesla Library and Cultural Centre | Architects Helen & Hard (Norway)

So, what have you been up to? What would you rather be up to? What’s been awesome/awful?
Reading? Watching? Making? Meeting?
What has [insert awesome inspiration/fave fansquee/guilty pleasure/dastardly ne’er-do-well/threat to all civilised life on the planet du jour] been up to?

* Netiquette footnotes:
* There is no off-topic on the Weekly Open Thread, but consider whether your comment would be on-topic on any recent thread and thus better belongs there.
* If your comment touches on topics known to generally result in thread-jacking, you will be expected to take the discussion to #spillover instead of overshadowing the social/circuit-breaking aspects of this thread.

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91 comments for “Weekly Open Thread with Fantastic Library

  1. November 22, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Oh my. This week has been intense. A friend of mine from Southern California recently offered to help me escape my dad’s house by driving up here, picking me up, and then taking me down to her place. where she’ll let me stay for a little while. When I get there, I’ll write an email in which I out myself to the rest of the family. Depending on how they react to the news, I’ll figure out where it is best for me to stay. I have many friends who are willing to help me out. (In case anyone is wondering, I’m not going to quit school for good for sure – I can always go back when my situation is safer and I’m able to pay for it with the help of my older siblings and my mom.)

    My main obstacle is, surprisingly, my older siblings opposition to the plan. They don’t trust my friend at all since she’s a stranger to them. Moreover, they believe that they’ll face legal repercussions because my dad will most likely file a missing person report and so my siblings can get in trouble if they refuse to disclose my location. And lastly, they want me to stay with them or my mom instead. I can’t stay with any of them immediately because I want to make sure thing are safe before I do so…my dad knows my mom’s street address, and for reasons I cannot disclose she will be in an extremely dangerous situation if my dad ever comes to her place. As for my sister, she has yet to settle down somewhere. And my brother doesn’t have enough money to move out yet. And I might have to leave before any of them are able to take me in.

    So…yeah, I’m a sticky situation.

    • trees
      November 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      Best of luck with everything.

    • GallingGalla
      November 23, 2013 at 6:26 am

      Oh wow, Ally. I hope everything works out for you.

    • EG
      November 23, 2013 at 8:16 am

      they believe that they’ll face legal repercussions because my dad will most likely file a missing person report and so my siblings can get in trouble if they refuse to disclose my location.

      Can any lawyers comment on this? It seems bizarre to me–Ally is a legal adult, and I thought it was only minors whose whereabouts had to be disclosed, and then only to their legal guardians. Particularly if Ally sends an email cc-ing people saying “I’m fine, I just don’t want to live with you or tell you where I am,” no missing persons bureau or agency would/could enforce anything like this.

      Ally, your siblings got out, and they got out without taking your needs into account–you mentioned that when your brother moved out it was going to make things harder for you. I don’t fault them: nobody should stay in an abusive situation for one minute longer than they have to for the good of anybody else, with perhaps some exceptions for certain parents, who, in my opinion, are obligated to protect their children (I’m looking at you, grandpa). But that means you, too, Ally. You have an opportunity to get out, and it’s not right for people who have already gotten out to ask you to let it go by and to suffer longer until everything is perfectly set up.

      No situation or opportunity will ever be perfect, Ally, and only you can judge if now is the right time to take this particular opportunity. But please prioritize your own well-being when you make this decision. You have a right to escape and a right to be happy and safe.

      Also, I loathe your father. I just need to say that. I wouldn’t want a doll to have to stay in his care, much less a person.

      • November 24, 2013 at 9:44 am

        Also, I loathe your father. I just need to say that. I wouldn’t want a doll to have to stay in his care, much less a person.

        Here is the biggest difference between EG and me, lol. I loathe your father’s actions but the hippie in me genuinely is 100% optimistic that you can change his attitude with your goodness of heart.

      • November 24, 2013 at 9:47 am

        please don’t take that at as my opinion that you shouldn’t get out of there AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

        I’m just saying when you’re my age, your relationship with your father will be different (could be worse, but based on your goodness, I predict it would be better.)

      • November 24, 2013 at 10:15 am

        I’m not very optimistic about that, and I say that as someone who prefers to be hippie-ish. But If he ever accepts me as a trans woman and vows to never be abusive and bigoted towards anyone ever again (and actually, you know, shows effort), words can’t express how happy I will be.

    • November 23, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Yeah, I feel like if an adult wants to disappear themselves, no one else is obligated to divulge their whereabouts, especially if the “missing person” sends word that they are okay. Either way, I hope this works out for you. Your dad is abusive asshole of epic proportion and you deserve so much to get away from that.

    • November 23, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Okay, I’ve never been in your situation, though I’ve been in on the loop in a couple of elopements. So, re: the missing persons report: it doesn’t mean “bring Ally to me”, it means “I suspect Ally is in danger”, as far as the cops are concerned. Thus, you should be able to get your siblings out of any potential trouble merely by assuring the cops in question that you are in fact fine and are just attempting to avoid your ginormous fuckface of a father (sorry, but he really is one IMO) that you have every legal right to leave, as an adult. So there’s that. You will not have to meet your father simply because he filed a missing persons report; afaik the cops are not in the habit of forcing legal adults back into nasty situations just because a missing persons report was filed, or arresting other relatives because they’re defending a person in need, if the cops are made aware that the person in question left of their own free will and is safe. (Of course, my experience is Indian, so take that with a grain of salt.)

      You are not required to support your siblings. You are not required to endure abuse for your siblings. You are PARTICULARLY not required to take the extra and horrific risk of being outed in your household (which would certainly result in severe abuse and/or injury) for the sake of siblings who have no such aggravated risk. Anyone who tries to force you to stay (and I’m including shamey, blamey voices in your head) For The Children or for anything else is NOT YOUR FRIEND IN THIS SITUATION. If your father found out and hurt you, or kicked you out, you would be in as much danger, with even fewer resources and even less control of the situation and its consequences, not to mention the loss of what ability you have to manage others’ impression of how things went down. Strategically, the best plan is to be the one to break the news to the rest of the family about your being trans (your letter was lovely and I would add 101 links to it personally) – that way it becomes “Ally is trans because she said so in a letter to me” rather than “OMG DID YOU HEAR WHAT ALLY’S DAD SAYS SHE’S DONE AND WHERE SHE IS NOW, WHAT A CREEP SHE’S BECOME”. Or something to that effect. If your dad steals your thunder you lose that opportunity.

      Also, your siblings’ arguments make no sense. Why can’t you stay with them once the fuss dies down? If you’re going to stay with them in month X, does it matter if you were with a friend for month Y? (The friend is a fantastic idea btw). This is just an attempt at control and an imposition on your safety (two cis people telling a trans person to live with a raging, violently abusive bigot because they don’t want to have the minor inconvenience of a cop asking them a couple of easily answered questions? How would you deal with this if it were a stranger bringing this question to you?).

      They had no responsibility to you to stay. You also have no responsibility to them to stay. EG said it well so I’ll just second her comment.

      Oh, and I’m glad you’re not quitting school forever. Please go back someday; you are smart and loving and kind and the world needs people like you running things (whether it’s a hospital ward or politics:P ).

      • November 23, 2013 at 11:49 am

        Adding to a comment in mod: it seems unreasonable at best that two financially unsettled people (who are unsettled because they are escaping from an abusive household) are opposed to you becoming financially unsettled by escaping an abusive household. I mean… what?

    • November 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      I talked to my brother again. It seems that his main concern is that he doesn’t want to deal with the stress of having to lie about where I am. And both of my older siblings are worried about being constantly pressured, threatened, etc. by family members in order to get them to disclose my location.

      • Willemina
        November 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm

        At some point you need to center yourself. Don’t let yourself get buried under this thing. Like mac said above you are still in a position to claim agency and putting your sibling’s legitimate, but not your responsibility fears of negative reaction ahead of your own safety and well-being isn’t a good plan in the long or short term.

        Good luck with whatever course of action you choose and stay safe.

      • November 23, 2013 at 2:50 pm

        Yep. You need to center your own physical safety over the emotional stress of others. I can’t imagine that your brother would be less emotionally stressed if you were outed and beaten by your father because of his advice!

      • Donna L
        November 23, 2013 at 5:39 pm

        Seconding everything everyone else has said, Ally. Please prioritize yourself over your siblings’ feelings, and try to take care of yourself, and do what’s necessary to escape.

        Thinking of you, as we all are.

      • November 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm

        Thinking of you, Ally, and agreeing with all the advice about putting yourself first. Get yourself safe, then you can decide whether you’re able to support other family members who are also afraid of your father.

      • EG
        November 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm

        It seems that his main concern is that he doesn’t want to deal with the stress of having to lie about where I am. And both of my older siblings are worried about being constantly pressured, threatened, etc. by family members in order to get them to disclose my location.

        1) Don’t tell them your location. Problem solved.

        2) I think it is appalling of them to want you to continue to endure abuse because the don’t want to deal with pressure. You have a right to your life, Ally. People who love you should recognize and respect this. If your older brother doesn’t want to lie, he doesn’t have to; he can just refuse to tell your father. Or he can cut off contact with your father. They’re asking you to continue to live with horrifying abuse and danger so that the abuser doesn’t turn his attentions away from you and onto them. I don’t know how they can do this.

        Ally nobody in this dynamic is prioritizing your needs and your safety, except for your friend. Please don’t let them gaslight you into thinking that your desires and needs aren’t legitimate. Don’t be fooled into prioritizing their preferences. If you don’t look out for yourself, nobody will. If that stresses out your siblings…well, that’s theirs to handle. You’re handling enough already.

      • EG
        November 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm

        The more I think about it, the more outraged I am that your siblings, who should love and protect you (I have a memory that you are the youngest–is that right?) are willing to make you their sacrificial lamb in order to save themselves from “stress” and “pressure.”

        You deserve better, Ally.

      • November 23, 2013 at 11:53 pm

        I’m the third youngest of 6 siblings. (Yep, we’re a big family.)

        Honestly, I can sympathize with my older siblings’ concerns. I really don’t want to make life harder for them. My brother told me that he was crying when he saw my email announcing my plans. He is very worried about my safety and his own well-being, and I know that he’s being sincere. And beyond that, I’m afraid of going against their wishes because I don’t know if that will constitute some kind of betrayal on my behalf (in their view). I want to get out of this house soon, but I don’t want to hurt my older siblings’ feelings, either. I feel so conflicted. This is one of the toughest decisions of my life.

        On a related note: I should say that my mom fully supports my decision, and she trusts my friend. She does want me to stay with her (she is my mom, after all), but she thinks that I’ll be okay if I go with my friend.

      • EG
        November 24, 2013 at 12:11 am

        Trust your mother, Ally. She wants the best for you. You are a good person and don’t want to make life harder for the ones you love. But it’s not right to sacrifice yourself and your happiness either. There will never be a time when your leaving will be easy, when it will not cause an uproar in your family.

        But your difficulties matter, too. Your siblings have no right to ask you to make your own life exponentially more difficult in order to save them stress.

        Ally, you will never be able to control your father’s abusive behavior. You can’t control your siblings’ stress levels and anxiety. You can’t make the ideal set of circumstances for your leaving appear. You can’t save your siblings from your father. All you can do is save yourself. It’s up to them to save themselves.

      • November 24, 2013 at 1:23 am

        Ally, your siblings’ possible hurt feelings do not take priority over your safety.

      • November 24, 2013 at 1:25 am

        EG, kitteh – you’re probably right. I just can’t really let it sink in. I’m shaking and on the verge of crying just thinking about this whole situation. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I don’t want to end up being a selfish asshole. I don’t want to make others feel like I’ve betrayed them. I love all of them so much (even my father to a very small degree), and I know I’m going to make all of them feel angry, anxious, and sad.

        I’m very sorry if what I’m saying is annoying any of you, but this situation is really tearing me apart. I feel like everything is going by at light speed and I can’t even fucking calm myself down. I’m going to sleep now, hopefully waking up with a clearer mind. I’m sorry if I’ve bothered anyone.

      • November 24, 2013 at 1:41 am

        Ally, you’re hardly bothering anyone. DLDR is the rule of the netz after all. And you are most certainly not a selfish asshole!!!

      • Echo Zen
        November 24, 2013 at 2:00 am

        Ally, you have a *vital*, maybe lifesaving ally in your mum. If she supports you on this, that’s the surest sign you’re doing the best thing for yourself — not just any mum would support such a drastic move on the part of her child. Had you not mentioned that detail about your mum, I might have been on the fence about your next move, but now I can say with no hesitation… do what you need to do to put *yourself* in a better place.

        I’ve been in a situation akin to yours. The right thing to do here is to do the right thing for you, Ally.

      • Hrovitnir
        November 24, 2013 at 2:27 am

        I think your plan sounds great Ally, and there is no way you could bother people with this! I’m disappointed by your siblings, though I understand – you need to get out, and you need their support. They’re being selfish by making putting you in this position.

        I can’t promise your siblings won’t feel betrayed, but there is no way this is not going to be messy, and hopefully their love for you can overcome their fears. Because I am scared for you being around you father, and have my fingers crossed that you can get out soon.

        Good luck.

      • Kerandria
        November 24, 2013 at 7:01 am

        Ally, you absolutely deserve to be in physical/emotional space that is free of/free of the threat of violence. Right now, it seems like it’s easier for your siblings to encourage you to ‘deal with it’ because it’s what they either did or are still doing. Your father sounds like a piece of shit — I’m seconding EG’s thought that maybe part of why they’re encouraging you to stay is because it keeps him focused on you.
        In the end, your older adult siblings are just going to have to handle the father you share in whatever way works for them. Also, you cannot ‘save’ your younger siblings. Staying longer to protect the bond you share with them not only puts you in extreme physical danger (likely more so than the others) but doesn’t carry any guarantee that those same siblings you stayed in your father’s home to protect et al will have your back when the time comes.
        It’s fucking wrong and unfair and awful that your abusive douchecanoe father essentially has you all played against each other. If you’re worried about your siblings not wanting to lie to your father re: your location, don’t tell them where you are.
        Is your father tech-savvy? Do you have portable technology that he might have monitoring/GPS tracking software on? I ask because that stuff isn’t too difficult to install and some programs are notoriously difficult to find once they’ve been installed and set to run.

        I hope that in the end, you can get away from your father’s home and enjoy a breath of freedom as an adult in a location that is outside the locus of any familial control. You will absolutely be in my thoughts, Ally.

      • November 24, 2013 at 9:56 am

        Is your father tech-savvy? Do you have portable technology that he might have monitoring/GPS tracking software on? I ask because that stuff isn’t too difficult to install and some programs are notoriously difficult to find once they’ve been installed and set to run.

        He is very tech-savvy. In fact, because I’m under his cell phone plan (AT&T), he is able to activate a feature that tracks my phone’s location whenever it’s switched on. I’ll have to get rid of my phone once I start my escape.

      • Kerandria
        November 25, 2013 at 9:29 am

        If you have a smartphone, I highly recommend a full factory reset of the phone before you dump/leave it someplace. If you don’t have a smartphone.. it’s probably still a good idea. It’s also shitty as fuck to lose a primary method of communication during a time like this.

        I am so sorry – I’m hoping for your safety and well-being.

    • Sharon M
      November 23, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      ((((Ally))) I’m sorry you are going through this.

    • bookshopcat
      November 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      I’m glad to hear you have a chance to finally get away from your dad, Ally. I know the feeling of not wanting to put siblings in the middle of this sort of situation (though not in circumstances nearly as extreme as yours) and it’s awful.

      Everyone else is right, though; you have to save yourself, and it looks like the time is now. Do what you have to do to stay safe- ditch your phone, don’t leave a forwarding address. Bon courage; I’ll be thinking of you.

    • InkCube
      November 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Ally, you don’t know me, this is my first post here. But I’ve been lurking for a while and I want you to know that the glimpses of you and your story that I caught in open threads and random comments, has made my heart ache for you.

      I hope so much this opportunity works out for you. You are not being a selfish asshole, not by a long shot. People often try to guilt-trip us, try to tell us that all ‘selfish’ behavior is automatically bad, but that is just not true. A certain amount of selfishness is vitally important, in an abusive situation like the one your in self-preservation is so much more important than stress or hurt feelings of other people, even loved (particularly if they have done same — acted on their self-preservation and extracted themselves from the abusive situation).

      All this might sound weird coming from somebody you don’t know at all, but even though I mostly lurk online, I just had to express how much I’m rooting for you and that I’m thinking about you and that my heart is aching for you.

  2. November 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Contracted a minor infection. The antibiotics they have put me on are making me feel like a giant pile of dogshit. I don’t know if it’s just that or weening off the morphine as well. Either way, feeling like hell this week.

    • Donna L
      November 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm

      I’m very sorry, Andie. I hope things get better soon.

  3. November 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks to EG and Kerandria for leaving good wishes on the previous open thread. And BabyRaptor and kittehserf – hehe, I empathise right back! (Sorry I didn’t get to you, I only had time to leave a couple of comments this week and others were having emergencies and stuff….)

    • November 24, 2013 at 1:27 am

      Ya welcome, mac!

    • Kerandria
      November 24, 2013 at 7:04 am

      You’re welcome, Mac! Oh — did you know that what happened with you over at S-ville wound up on at least one of the anti s-ville/s-ville awareness tumblrs? Let me see if I can dig up links..

      • Kerandria
        November 24, 2013 at 7:09 am

        @ Shakesvillekoolaid [ugh at that name — it’s always too soon for references like that..]

        There was another post at Shakesfail, but it was pretty much the same as above.

      • Sharon M
        November 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm

        I agree with the name! I HATE, hate hate that term.
        November 18th was the 35 anniversary of Jonestown.
        Nary a mention from the sites I frequent. It was all about JFK.
        Anyhow, she knows how I feel. :/

  4. Sharon M
    November 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    [comment removed at commentor’s request]

    • Donna L
      November 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      I’m pretty sure that tigtog said to take this discussion to the current spillover thread, not here.

      • November 23, 2013 at 5:53 pm

        Yes, I did. I mentioned that it was obviously going to be a contentious contribution, and the basic guideline here is that known contentious issues go to spillover so that stoush doesn’t stifle discusssions on other threads.

      • Sharon M
        November 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm

        Oh crap. I’m so dumb. I don’t know why, but I mistook this for spillover thread. I’m sorry Tigtog. I would delete it if I could.

      • November 23, 2013 at 6:08 pm

        Thanks for that. I’ll delete it and send you the text in an email so that you can repost it on spillover.

    • Sharon M
      November 23, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      Thank you Tigtog.
      I have a (bad) habit of “galloping” when I read.

  5. Librarygoose
    November 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    So…who’s watched the Doctor Who 50th?

    • November 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      I have! You might get a better response on the dedicated 50 years of Who thread

      • Librarygoose
        November 23, 2013 at 6:37 pm

        Thanks, it’s been a long week. I’m not caught up.

  6. konkonsn
    November 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    So I’m working on a piece of fantasy fiction that a friend and I have been brainstorming (I’ve been sick with a really shitty flu since NaNoWriMo started, so all my friends’ writing has inspired me). I wanted to ask you guys for some helpful resources.

    In this world, there are dolls which are basically androids brought to life by magic, so they’re made with materials other than metal, plastic, and wires. Most civilizations developed crude dolls early on, and in the present, these dolls are more refined. The story takes place in city that is definitely not Chicago (*wink*), and we wanted the main character to befriend an older doll (made in the mid-1700s) that had been lying dormant in the region. It will have been created by a tribe based off of the Peoria. I’m having a little trouble, however, finding anything about Midwestern Native American tribes and crafts that isn’t some children’s book about how to make corn dolls (maybe I shouldn’t use the word craft?). I was wondering if anyone here knew specific books or articles on the materials and tools used around that time. He’s mostly going to be a crude construct made for the purpose of being a sentinel. I know about the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma website, but I was hoping to get some general information before bugging them about making my silly fantasy book more accurate.

    If you can help point me in the right direction, even if it’s just to make my searches better and less of digging through a billion links that have nothing, it would really help.


    • InkCube
      November 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      I don’t have a specific resource for you, but just wanted to point out that the NaNoWriMo Research Help forum is usually amazing for that sort of thing — there are so many people participating that you’ll literally find experts on everything and anything and everybody is really helpful.

      (Maybe you know about that already. And the added grain of salt that the last two years I haven’t managed to participate. Very much hope that the spirit and camaraderie of the forums hasn’t vanished though.)

      • konkonsn
        November 27, 2013 at 5:47 pm

        Oh, ok. I did not know that. Is the forum year round? I’ve been looking for a supportive research writing forum, but I get so overwhelmed with finding good resources. I got spoiled in college because of the access to databases and professors you could just go up to.

    • November 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Tried to do some research on it and I think I can get you a preliminary booklist. Not sure how useful it’d be considering you’d have to buy those books probably. I can do more if you remind me in a couple of weeks; end of term is killing me right now but it should all be wrapped by the ninth.

      • konkonsn
        November 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm

        Oh wow, you don’t have to go to that much trouble. Just the book list would be great.

  7. anna_k
    November 24, 2013 at 12:39 am

    So…I had some really disheartening academic stuff happen. In choosing spring courses at my uni, I applied for a (competitive) one for which I had lots of relevant experience, probably first- or second-most of everyone who applied.

    I got an email telling me not only that I was rejected, but that the rejection was not based on ability/ranking but on me not fitting the “team” of a “variety of backgrounds and interests” that was selected for this (small) collaborative course. Adding insult to injury, the person rejecting me added how intelligent they think I am and how they’d love to work with me on an independent study next term if I wanted.

    I’m 100% sure this non-teamwork rejection is based on my assertiveness in making points in class this term. I’ve often been the only voice pointing out things like underlying imperialist attitudes to white female classmates who get very offended at this.

    This is just so upsetting, because I spent a long time being bad at making my voice heard in academic settings, and only through years of support from amazing supervisors+friends at my previous awesome uni did I learn how to speak up. Added to this, I’ve done two jobs in my field already, both mostly based on collaborative work, and I worked really well in those teams, where I was trusted and valued, not dismissed.

    But to this person, I know I come off “mouthy” and “confident”, where I’m pretty sure if I was exactly the same as a white man (because my white male friends DO act exactly like this in similar settings) I’d just be coded as normal.

    If you’ve managed, despite the barriers WOC face, to become the most-qualified person for the “job”, and then you’re rejected on the basis of the very changes you had to make in order to become this qualified, what on earth are you meant to do next?

    • anna_k
      November 24, 2013 at 12:43 am

      Just to add: I know how privileged I am even to be getting this extra year of study in my field. People I love are making huge sacrifices in order for this to happen for me. It’s just upsetting to see the opportunities this year was meant to create vanish before my eyes. I certainly can’t afford another year like this one, and given how niche my specialty is and how vanishingly rare the jobs, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to leave it for something else to pay off loans etc next year. It’s not the Worst Thing Ever by any means, just makes me sad.

      BUT I am remaining positive, praying (I have a faith), picking other courses, and I am determined to put in my very best work, whatever I do end up taking :)

      • November 24, 2013 at 1:43 am

        Wow, anna, that’s terrible. :( I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Stereotyping sucks.

      • trees
        November 24, 2013 at 10:52 pm

        This freakin’ sucks. You can only do what you can stomach, and get in where you fit in. Are there any collections that you can work?

    • BBBShrewHarpy
      November 24, 2013 at 9:16 am

      Strange how one can come across as confident and mouthy while quaking in one’s boots. Sorry for this downer.

      Do you think it would be possible for you to take this person up on what looks like an invitation to participate in independent study with them? If that is genuine, then perhaps this might end up being a positive outcome and a great opportunity for you. Of course it requires yet again appearing confident and unbruised, so I realize it’s difficult.

    • EG
      November 24, 2013 at 9:36 am

      That’s fucking appalling, Anna. One of my favorite former students is dealing with pervasive racism in her PhD program, as well, and it just makes me ashamed for the whole profession. You shouldn’t have to be dealing with this shit; you’re being punished for your intelligence and assertiveness, and those are precisely the qualities that your uni should recognize and reward you for.

  8. Kerandria
    November 24, 2013 at 7:27 am

    My birthday was this past week. A lot of hugely powerful stuff went down around my eighteenth birthday ten years ago. Usually, this time of year is introspective and a bit sad. This year, I decided to celebrate.

    Every year is another one where the mindfuck doesn’t win.
    Grooming didn’t break me. Years of child sexual abuse, psychological abuse, neglect, and torture didn’t break me.
    Losing first my family, then friends and loves that were bad for me didn’t break me – even if I felt like it would at the time.
    Addiction, self-inflicted abuse and the bad bad days are behind me. (well, as behind you as addiction ever is, whispers the little voice in the corner of my mind)

    I’m alive.

    • EG
      November 24, 2013 at 9:39 am

      Happy birthday, Kerandria. I wish you joy and many, many more birthdays to come.

      • Kerandria
        November 25, 2013 at 7:38 pm

        Thank you! It was lovely.

  9. November 24, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Woke up this morning to an inch of water in the basement, mainly in the laundry/storage room and my daughters bedroom (she was the one who informed me that her carpet was soaked). I’m currently sitting here, unable to do fuck-all because I still have lift restrictions and fear of infection. There are multiple people bailing the water out and the house is freezing cold because the back door keeps getting opened to take the excess water out.

    I’m still waiting on the bills from my sewer disaster, and now this. I fucking can’t even with this shit.

    • EG
      November 24, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Jesus, Andie. I’m so sorry.

    • bookshopcat
      November 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Damn, as if you needed that on top of everything else. Sorry, Andie.

    • Sharon M
      November 24, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      Oh man Andie. I don’t know if you have the money for this: a wet dry vacuum and air movers, and flood blowers.


      • November 26, 2013 at 10:00 am

        My insurance company called a service company (which is actually run by my BIL’s brother – yay small towns) that does flood repair… Then I found out I’m not actually covered for flooding. I guess I didn’t get that coverage because I figured I had a sump pump, a backup pump, a back up battery and a pump alarm. Who knew they’d all fail at the same time?

        So now I’m paying for this out of pocket. They waived the equipment cost (which would have been upwards of $3500) but still have to pay labour costs, which I had understood to be 45 bucks an hour, only to find out after it was 45 bucks per man hour, which essentially doubles what I thought I would be paying if insurance didn’t come though.

        I appreciate them cutting out the equipment cost (which I also wasn’t originally aware of) but it feels like being told that they’re only going to take an arm as opposed to an arm AND a leg and I’m going “but… But… I thought you were just going to take a finger!”

        And my house smells like disinfectant, and being below 0 temps here (Celsius) opening the windows isn’t an great option. They’ve set up an air scrubber, but it doesn’t seem to be doing eff-all.

  10. bookshopcat
    November 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I’ve barely even been lurking here lately due to life, etc., but things have been starting to get better rather than consistently swamping me in the awful, and that’s worth a mention. Within the last couple of weeks, I’ve developed a seven-month plan that involves everything from charting my coping mechanisms with a view towards improving them to applying for things like a part-time job and a half-year artist’s residency in local programs for people with mental health issues.

    I’m also looking into a subsidized city rec center pass so I can get back into swimming and running over the winter- I’ve started stretching and doing some yoga on my own and figure I might as well also get back into the sports that I liked before the dysphoria set in. I have a lot of anxiety-related issues around several things that this will involve, but my best friend has volunteered to be my guide (or, as they would put it, “therapy mammal”), so I should be able to manage it.

    Honestly I’m still a bit stunned by how fast this has all lined up, but I feel optimistic and ready to see how far I can get with it all…

    • Sharon M
      November 24, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Yay! :)

  11. Sharon M
    November 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    CN: prison
    I’m watching Scared Straight right now. When I was in H.S. (1982 ish) they brought in inmates to talk to us about prison.

    I don’t know does it work? If it does help one person I think it’s worth it.

    But: it reminds me of the Bootstraps! meme. If you work hard, and stay clean you won’t end up in prison. Ruben “Hurricane” Carter is a perfect example of this, and Cameron Todd Willingham was executed despise being innocent. Don’t get me wrong: there are people who are too dangerous and yes evil who can’t be rehabilitated, and never should be let out. I’m not talking about them.
    Prison Industrial Complex, 3 strikes you’re out, School to Prison pipeline, the war on drugs, institutional racism: how do you change this?

    • Sharon M
      November 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      ETA: CN: death penalty, Republican support of death penalty (e.g. cheering about 234 executions in Texas

  12. Sharon M
    November 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    CN: suicide
    Next April will be 40 years since my father killed himself. I was 9 years old, and from then on I had to parent myself, and my mother was “too proud” to send me to therapy, even at the recommendation of my uncle a Psychiatrist. (I still have issues with her besides this)
    Jokes about the mentally ill, and how judgmental society about suicide piss me off.

    Soo, I think a support group for adult children for parents who killed themselves would be helpful. I live in a rural area, so I may have a harder time. thank you for listening. I have to go so I can’t comment until later.

  13. Willemina
    November 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Nothing big or new or exciting really but…..

    Christmas rat!

    • Kerandria
      November 25, 2013 at 9:37 am

      That’s one swell rat! *cooes*

  14. November 24, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    All right, it’s been decided for sure – I’m going with my friend. My main motivations for doing so, despite the possibly terrible consequences, are:

    1) I need a chance to live away from all family members, even the ones who aren’t against me. I think it’s time to start being on my own, living my own life. There are so many things I need and want to accomplish, so many things I need to learn about life, and I can only do these things if I don’t live with family members right away.

    2) If I decide to live with a tolerant family member and then come out to the rest of the family, it will be much easier for intolerant family members to harass me, threaten me, hurt me, etc. because I’ll be reachable through my older siblings or mom. They’ll also do the same things to the family members I’m staying with. And I know that there is a very high chance that the rest of my family will want to hurt me because being trans is a much greater offense and shame to the family than many other things. My older siblings will get shit for not disclosing my location, but at least I won’t be in a potentially violent or coercive situation. I doubt that my older siblings and my mom are as vulnerable to transmisogynistic abuse as I am.

    3) Living with a family member while trying to start my transition (which I will start very soon if everything goes according to plan – no later than the end of next year) will be very difficult because of reason 2. They will most likely try to prevent me from having access to hormones, and they can’t do anything to stop me if I’m an unknown location for some time.

    4) I feel absolutely horrible about delaying my HRT until I can move in with a family member; I really have a pressing need to transition as soon as I can. My dysphoria just keeps getting worse.

    5) I want to devote my life to anarchist activism, and I can’t really do that easily or safely by living with family members. My dream is to participate in anarchist communes so that I can work with friends and allies for various, shared political ends. I am completely serious about my political aspirations; they’re what give me a purpose in life.

    I just hope that I can move on and get over the fact that so many people are going to hate me for my decision. I hope they forgive me some day… =( This is going to be extremely difficult.

    • trees
      November 24, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      Sending you all the support a random person on the internet can muster! You’re very courageous, and I’m wishing you all the safety and buckets of joy!

    • Helen
      November 25, 2013 at 12:27 am

      Another random person on the internet would like to send you their support. I hope everything goes well for you.

    • EG
      November 25, 2013 at 1:29 am

      You are a brave woman, Ally, and a good one as well. Anybody who cares for you should understand that you are doing what you need to do. I wish you all the luck in the world. Keep yourself as safe as you can. You will be in my thoughts.

    • Computer Soldier Porygon
      November 25, 2013 at 4:12 am

      Do you have to tell any of your siblings your precise location? I mean, do you have belongings they’ll need to ship to you or w/e? If not, maybe don’t tell them. You can stay in contact through email if you need to and they won’t have to lie about what they don’t know.

      Best of luck!

      • November 25, 2013 at 4:41 am

        I’d also be looking into creating new email accounts for yourself using webmail such as gmail and mailinator, with totally new randomly generated passwords, and changing any social networking accounts you have over to those addresses. This will make it more difficult for your tech-savvy dad and any of his associates to use your email activity to track your location.

        You can even still use your existing social networking accounts with the new email addresses to blunt the edge of any missing person investigation without having them telegraph where you currently are, by posting regular status updates and responding to possible police enquiries via social media while blocking any family members with whom you don’t want to communicate. You might also want to look into using tor nodes for any communications with family members once you’ve successfully relocated, because then your IP number won’t give any indication of your location.

        You can always set any existing accounts you have to forward mail to your new untraceable email addresses, and filter incoming mail from those addresses to subfolders so that you don’t have to see them right away in your inbox unless you’re ready to deal with them. That way your family can still contact you using your old addresses but you can manage it in ways that won’t make it easy for your dad to track you through any such contacts.

        I’m sure the online trans* community has heaps of privacy recommendations/advice for keeping yourself safe from controlling family members. Seek it out and follow what you think will work best for you.

      • November 25, 2013 at 4:45 am

        p.s. I know you’re pretty tech-savvy yourself, so apologies if the advice above is redundant. I hope that maybe lurkers might find it useful information even if it’s steps you’ve already decided to take.

      • November 25, 2013 at 10:01 am

        At this time, I can’t think of any reason they’d need my friend’s address. So I probably won’t tell them. And frankly, I don’t see anything problematic with that since I’ll still be in touch with them frequently – I just won’t disclose my location to them.

        Besides that, my friend knows all about my dad and she is very uncomfortable with the possibility of my siblings telling my father her address. And my father has a tendency to threaten people with death/violence. (In fact, his death threats are what prompted my mom to get a restraining order on him.)

    • Donna L
      November 25, 2013 at 7:30 am

      Ally, I’m sending you all my support as well. I wish you the very best of luck. As others have said, please try to keep yourself as safe as possible — and I know that what you’re about to undertake is very much part of that.

    • Kerandria
      November 25, 2013 at 9:34 am

      I wish you luck, Ally. I can’t say a lot that hasn’t been said already or can easily be put into words.. I wish you luck, healing, growth, peace, and all the other wicked awesome stuff that comes with GETTING THE F OUT OF BAD-DODGE.

    • InkCube
      November 25, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      I wish you all the luck in the world.

    • Hrovitnir
      November 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Fantastic. Good luck! Thinking of you.

  15. pheenobarbidoll
    November 25, 2013 at 1:04 am

    Sick to death of hearing people gripe about stores being open on thanksgiving. Salting the wounds of oppression is what’s unfair, not having to work instead of joining in the salting. I hate November.

    • trees
      November 25, 2013 at 7:52 am

      I mentally check out from Columbus Day to Thanksgiving. It prevents me from committing random acts of violence.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        November 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm

        Good idea

  16. November 25, 2013 at 2:47 am

    My family will be celebrating Thanksgiving in the traditional style of our forefathers, i.e. we’re going out for Vietnamese food Chinatown.

  17. November 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Recently, I was telling a friend of mine that I’m half white and half Indian but pass as white, and said that I felt uncomfortable calling myself a woman of color. But she told me that the term applies to anyone who isn’t white, regardless of whether ze passes as white. And so I have come to the realization that I’m a woman of color. For some reason, I had this idea in my head that, if I pass as white, that makes me so different from many other people of color that I should be considered white instead.

    And I don’t even think I really pass as white that well. Most people don’t think I’m white – some are so perceptive that they just straight-up tell me that they think I’m Indian. Other people think I’m Arab, Spanish, Pakistani, or Persian. (I’d show a picture, but I don’t like my face and I don’t want to associate a picture of my male persona with this username. I think Mac might know what I look like, though.)

    I apologize if I’m showing a terrible understanding of race. X_X

    • Li
      November 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      Hey Ally, this video popped up on my feed recently and I thought you might want to check it out if you haven’t seen it already? It’s Loretta Ross talking about the origin of the term Women of Color. I think you might find it interesting in sorting out some of your thoughts.

  18. November 26, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Five years since 26/11. Hope my fellow Indians here are doing okay, and a shout-out to lurkers.

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