pmdd.

cn/w for talk about: premenstrual dysphoric disorder (pmdd), challenging behaviours around food, and frank, honest, reflections about suicidality and suicide ideation.

i have been trying to write and post about this for the longest time but it is scary. it is also important. i don’t think enough people who have periods know this is a thing and i honestly know very little but i think the little i know is worth sharing.

last year i experienced two really hard life events within a three day span. i was out of commission/grief stricken for months. eventually it became apparent with the help of judie (my therapist) and pals that i was stuck. i would feel and experience little glimpses of relief and healing and then be sucked back into deep grief and despair– all while recognizing healing and recovery is linear– but i just really couldn’t catch a solid break.

i really thought that after years of pushing away the idea of needing medication to help manage a variety of things that often impact my quality of life that i was finally needing to seriously consider it. because of trauma things and being terrified of accessing doctors i tried a lot of low risk, natural remedies to try to help myself first: melatonin, bach flower rescue remedy, saint john’s wort, essential oils, etc. these things helped a little but it became increasingly apparent they didnt help enough. i would feel like i was coping and managing okay and then it would all go to hell for what seemed like no apparent reason.

i’ve dealt with passive, chronic suicide ideation since i can remember (ie. seeing myself walk in front of cars, during times of hyperarousal with my cptsd thinking there would be some relief from it if i just wasn’t around, etc.) but this was much different and really scary. i would think a lot about accessing alcohol and other substances to cope with pain (i have been sober my whole life [not a moral statement just a fact and taking note of unusual behaviour in myself]), i was making plans (my death party and will are on my google drive now). unlike the passive ideation where i could usually access resources i’ve cultivated to work through these thoughts, nothing worked. i spent a lot of time at home, in bed, staying safe, because i was scaring myself. during this time i was also managing some physical illness. i was feeling shakey and nauseous a lot. i felt like i was coming down with the flu often. i chalked this all up to how i was living grief. when i first experienced those two hard events eating became extremely challenging and continued to be for months. i thought my body was finally saying enough to how poorly i was taking care of it.

i live my life really disconnected from my body and so it took a while but i eventually noticed that my feelings of the flu, nausea, and shakiness were happening leading up to my period. i thought this was just a normal change in things, a part of inching closer to thirty in a body that gets periods, etc. i got tested for things like low iron and diabetes. it took more time but i also eventually noticed that getting sucked back into deep despair was happening leading up to my period and that i would finally get relief from it on day two or three of my cycle. i knew someone who had mentioned to me in passing they had a pal who dealt with pmdd. i looked it up and everything clicked. that was me. it’s not a thing a lot of people know or talk about. it’s not on the radar of a lot of doctor’s. it’s obviously dismissed often and invalidated because it has to do with reproductive and sexual health. i have not found much of a community or that many resources about it save for some youtube videos that are helpful but also very cis-y.

it took me a while to name this with judie. it took a while longer for us to hatch a plan for me to get help with this. seeing a doctor about a reproductive and sexual health thing brought up a lot of BIG feelings. i needed a lot of support from pals and was very activated leading up to, during, and after my appointment. i dissociated. i also made it through. i found out a lot of people go on a hormonal birth control to even things out to help them. a lot of people take their packs of bc consecutively to lose their period all together (apparently this is very okay but i still feel skeptical about it!). some people take lithium leading up to their period starting and some folks go on an antidepressant all the time. right now i am taking birth control continuously. i dont get my period at all although i have some other things happening which are annoying. i am not being inundated by these hard, scary feelings as frequently as i used to be. i have to be real though and name that sometimes i feel things sneak up on me, a cramp or a sense of dread and i become fearful that i am going to get sucked back down again. i have been assured that six months in to taking bc the hormones are still settling but i can’t help but get scared that this option i’ve found that works for me for the most part might stop. at the same time, right now, i am safer than i was before and that is important.

talking about this is hard. there’s a lot of shame and a desire not to name things. there’s so much talk about being open and ending stigma but a lot of convos around death, suicide, suicidality and ideation aren’t holding in the ways i desire them to be. in leah lakshmi piepzna-samarasinha’s book, ‘care work’ they talk about femme suicide. they talk about the trickiness of naming if you are dealing with ideation or suicidality and all the complications it can bring. they wonder if this was nomalized, *really* normalized, if these complications might creep away. and maybe if they did we could understand ideation better and care for each other better instead of repeating empty platitudes (175). i also think of this piece that came out recently that is some of the realest, most normalizing shit i’ve ever read in regards to suicidality and ideation. (a sample quote: “…what makes it (being a person who deals with suicidality) harder is being unable to talk about it freely: the weightiness of the confession, the impossibility of explaining that it both is and isn’t as serious as it sounds. I don’t always want to be alive. Yes, I mean it. No, you shouldn’t be afraid for me. No, I’m not in danger of killing myself right now. Yes, I really mean it.”)

i dont really know how to finish this in a way that feels ok. i just hope naming that pmdd is a thing is helpful. i would love to connect with folks that might also experience it. i would also love to have access to more resources about it if people know of any.

 

link dump friday #18

if you’re white, in particular a white cis woman, if there’s one thing you should read this week it should probably be this. (thanks, ja!)

sometimes women have to make hard choices to be writers. while we’re at it, here is a review of Kai Cheng Thom’s new book i recently finished. 

social justice must be complicated because oppression is never simple.

ugh, this: love as political resistance.

six disabled activists and why the resistance must be accessible.

#DisabledAndCute is a great hashtag to take a gander through that has popped up this past week. #DisabledAndCurmudgeonly is a great response to it.

Jessica Williams and why Black women are not here to save you.

i don’t have enough time or energy to tackle the bullshit that is Beyoncé not getting AOTY at the Grammy’s. there are so many links i could drop but i’ll leave you with this one. here’s my favorited song from LEMONADE, Love Drought, which she performed sunday night. 

link dump friday #17

hi.

forgot to share this a couple of weeks ago: Momma Louisiana/Tina taught me.

a couple of weeks ago i found out (thanks ab and sd!) about this super cool podcast called Song Exploder where musicians take apart their songs and tell the story of how they were made. on last week’s episode, the composer from the film Moonlight talked about the theme he created. in doing so i was introduced to a style of southern hip hop called chopped and screwed that added another brilliant layer to an already brilliant film. fast forward to this week and a chopped and screwed a mix of the Knowles’ sisters albums  from the past year called ‘A Seat At The Table While Sipping Purple Lemonade,’ has come out. it’s amazing. 

white people, i don’t want you to understand me better, i want you to understand yourselves.

young brilliance.

things to make you smile: black boy joy/black girl magic one and two.

Andrea Gibson forever.

Black History Month, Disability and Elizabeth Suggs.

10 Questions About Why Ableist Language Matters.

FKA Twigs ft. Cranes in the Sky.

check out the hashtag on twitter #WomenResistLike which centres and celebrates BIPOC femmes.

Femme FM is a brilliant local radio show made by brilliant femmes for brilliant femmes. my favourite epi thus far.

chance the rapper has a new video out. 

link dump friday #16

what a terrifying week. it’s hard to know how to exist. it’s hard to know what to say or do. to all my pals and friends, I love you, I see you, I got you.

six tips to avoid being a bystander when witnessing a racist attack.

this week, more than sixty years after the brutal murder of fourteen year old Emmett Till, the woman who accused him of whistling at her finally confessed to lying about it. this is such an important read: Emmett Till and the Pervasive Erasure of Disability in Conversations About White Supremacy and Police Violence.

11 Black Queer and Trans Women Discuss Self Care.

Marissa Alexander is finally free!

Beyoncé blessed us with good news on the first day of African History month. here’s a podcast talking about her pregnancy announcement the decentering of whiteness in her maternity photos. the final chapter of LEMONADE. OSHUN. YEMOJA. VENUS. if you go to her website right now you can check out more photos of her and her family along side poetry by Warsan Shire. she has three hearts. as an aside, someone on Twitter mentioned that Darth Cheeto is a Gemini that can only be defeated by twins. *insert smirk emoji* here’s a reminder of the first glorious time she was pregnant. so happy for her and her fam. her birth truthers from before when she was pregnant with Blue can suck it.

that’s all I got. have a good weekend y’all. make sure you reach out to the people you love.

link dump friday #15

whelp. it’s been a week.

you have to ask why you care now, and not before. 

jay smooth gives his read on the damn march.

thread for non-disabled folks to consider when thinking about activism re: the damn march. also, check out the hashtag #AccessibleOrganizingMeans on Twitter while you’re there.

thread for white folks who keep acting so proud about how the damn march was peaceful and no one got arrested. here is another one for good measure.

this link includes a thread for settlers in regards to the damn march. (i would include the original thread by @sydnerain but their tweets are now protected).

listen to a Black woman.

smh. peak white feminism. (if you don’t get it, suffragettes were racist, see here).

thank god for identity politics.

look, MHP put together an Black feminism syllabus. there’s no excuse now. (pretty sure i’ve shared this before).

my personal top three nazi’s getting punched to music: one, two, and three. (reminder that richard spencer is 38 and not a boy who is young, impressionable and doesn’t know any better).

still can’t stop thinking about moonlight. Ashton Sanders talks about radical Black masculinity. 

disability and jomo: the joy of missing out (thanks Soho Bookclub ❤ ❤ ).

how to support your disabled friends in winter and beyond.

ode to self care has been my jam this past little while.

like dump friday #14

it’s backkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. it’s been a while y’all. between ruining my laptop and the world feeling like its about to end, i have not been motivated to keep this up. but now i’m here and motivated again to get back to it and try to write things besides link dumps in the future.

for now, though:

this gem of an interview of Solange by Beyoncé.

“it made me realize that we have no rituals for suffering, for breaking up, for hurting. i am not sure what those rituals would look like, but it does seem like something to seek.” if community were a safe place to fall apart.

i’ve always been self conscience about my teeth, quite often as of late, so i went back to this to help me decipher through my thoughts and feelings.

meryl streep’s golden globe speech: reaction from disabled people.

this thread about disability accessible items in response to this trash of a piece.

forgiveness is not a binary state.

the living bridges project is the brain child of Mia Mingus and documents responses to csa (child sexual abuse) from all types of people (survivors, bystanders, people who have done csa) in the hope that it can lead to transformative understanding and future responses to csa. these stories are not easy to listen to. you really need to take care of yourself or enlist the care of others if/when you decide to. ❤ 

sex gets real is a great podcast a pal alerted me to that talks about relationships, sex and everything in between. one of the first epis i listened to was about consent and carving out space for those in your life who are survivors to say yes and no when the stakes aren’t high and i just sobbed walking home from a pals house while i took it all in. good, hard, important, necessary stuff.

in december I was lucky to see a new musical called dear Evan Hansen. this was my favourite song from it sung by the glorious queen Cynthia Erivo.

happy weekend y’all. kate out.

link dump friday #13

what a trying week.

here’s some chance the rapper to get you through. (thanks ke!)

i finally finished the summer we got free and i can’t recommend it enough. i also read the tale of one bad rat and it was good. cw: for incest, tho.

meet Darren Seals

ugh. Solange dropped ‘A Seat at the Table’ last week. was a gem. we are so lucky. here’s her and her mom Ms. Tina talking about it. this is a really good review.

this week in Solange’s sister: if this ain’t the cutest thing, i don’t know what is. this look *fire emoji 100 emoji raised fist emoji* if you’ve been touched by the queen, maybe you wanna write about it?

Serena Williams and her biggest win.

 

link dump friday #12

Pitch is a new show on Fox (of all places) that tells the story of the first woman (who happens to be Black) to play in major league baseball. it. is. good.

The Problem With The New Down Syndrome PSA Starring Olivia Wilde (it’s a couple of months old but important).

true.

self care.

Mia Mingus makes my heart sing.

i’ve always been super interested in asl. i took two classes while i was in uni and if my hands didn’t pain me all the time i’d probably try to take the interpretation program at nscc. this read talks about how queer and deaf communities are tackling oppression together.

this week in beyoncé: a Black artist illustrated the 11 chapters of Lemonade.

tattoo as ceremony.

queeriods: how to include menstruators of all genders in conversation.

nayirraah waheed’s self published poetry book salt celebrated it’s third anniversary this week. nayirrah wrote a reflection on salt, what it meant to have had it self published and who her writing is for.

great thread on depression and how it should not be equated with sadness.

here’s a buzzfeed listicle about chronic pain.

this is really good: Telling Myself the Truth: 5 Strategies for Fighting Internalized Ableism

i don’t think some people will like this one: Defending Hillary Clinton is not Feminsim. “If your feminism holds more space for a racist genocidal imperialist than it does for an entire planet full of women suffering under the barbarity of the system she has dedicated her life to upholding then your feminism is trash, it’s not going to get you free, and you need to get it together.”

i am listening to Solange’s new album, ‘A Seat at the Table’ as i get this ready. twitter user @SheSeauxSaditty described it as, “the appendices for Lemonade.” the album is not for me, but it is perfection.

There is a water crisis happening in Potlotek First Nation right now.

A visual history of social dance in 25 moves.

the biggest prison strike in history in the states is happening right now and hardly no one knows about it.

teehee. here for it.

for whatever reason i find the way this is written a little off-putting or something but i think it’s still a helpful read: 50 Way People Expect Constant Emotional Labour from Women and Femmes.

 

 

 

link dump friday #11

what a week. let’s jump right in.

if you aren’t watching Queen Sugar you are really missing out. i’m so in love. Ava Duvernay wrote and produced it (based off the book by Natalie Baszile) and every week a different woman directs the show. shine theory in action. i really like this little storyline and how it’s there but it’s not a big focal point to any of the epi’s. seriously though, Queen Sugar is Lemonade level for me. it’s exquisite, i tremble while watching it, i feel blessed/lucky to have the chance to watch this story unfold.

made these this week. delish.

this week in Beyoncé: Viola Davis’ daughter is a stan. we don’t even need to give time to the fact that Bey was robbed of an Emmy.

Flint, Michigan has been without safe drinking water since April 2014. This week the state removed the Flint’s ability to sue.

“Right now, I need white women, particularly white feminist spaces, to go beyond the idea that their racism is just a passive, residual effect of violent white men’s anger and control.” white women and a revisiting of intersectionality. (thanks, ja!)

“…the existence of blacks in America is one predicated on the recognition, or rather nonrecognition, of others — politicians, police officers, department store managers, landlords. If you are black, you live provisionally. You exist somewhere in the in-between, oscillating like a pendulum amid an uncertain life and an immediate, certain end.” read more here.

a lot of white people don’t know where to start when they try to start to unpack their privilege and whiteness/learn about race. maybe start here. (again, thanks ja!)

 

link dump friday #10

happy friday y’all. the suns out. it feels like fall. i’m off this weekend AND slept well last night.

let’s go.

Solange Knowles breaks it down after having a terrible experience at a Kraftwerk concert with her family.

“i am so tired of radical vulnerability discourse that locates empowerment in divulging personal pain.” oh my. yes. this.

the queer poor aesthetic. (thank you, ja.)

Disabled Lives, Assisted Suicide and Ableism. a must read. found here.

Tobias Jesso Jr. dropped a little somethin’ somethin’.

Jay-Z made this video to raise awareness about the War on Drugs and black disenfranchisement (Molly Crabapple did the illustrations, dream hampton was involved in the development process). here is a response, the Herstory of the War on Drugs.

“My femme identity doesn’t just include my disabled body; it’s built on it.”

GBBO is moving over to Channel 4 and Mel and Sue are not going with it. love for Mel and Sue. reminder why GBBO is so awesome.

Ijeoma Oluo is always on point and a queen. When I Said All Trump Supporters Are White Supremacists, I Meant It.

future me: Woman Who Picked Dog Over Getting Married Made the Right Decision. (thanks ke!)

this week in Beyoncé: she helped plan a surprise proposal for her dance captain that’s been with her since she was 18. “well, let’s see if you can do the choreography after that.”

gonna try and write something that’s not a link dump this weekend. let’s see if it gets posted monday ❤