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Today it will be hot for Providence, 87˚F (heat index 95˚F+), and tomorrow it will be cooler and very stormy. We may have to leave the House today, because it will probably get extremely uncomfortable in here.

I clearly cursed myself yesterday by writing, "I'm sleeping too much." Last night, I had the first real bout with insomnia that I've had in months. I might have slept three hours, all broken up. I tossed and turned in our hot bedroom, listening to the drone of all the fans. I dreamed, briefly, of spending time in the company of William Burroughs. I suppose if the insomnia was responsible for that dream its as worth not sleeping.

Yesterday, after spending the day working on "The Cats of River Street (1925)," I posted this to Facebook:

Occasionally I'm asked why I don't write more historical fiction, since I'm actually fairly good at it. Today is a good example why. Working on a story set in 1925, I needed four hours (!!) to write a mere 747 words. It's very rare that the economics of writing, the business side of this thing I do, make such undertakings cost effective. And I hate speaking of writing in such terms, but that's reality.

In other words, my productivity is cut, at least, in half. Which would be fine if I were paid twice as much for historical fiction.

---

Also from Facebook yesterday:

I'll pay the World $100 if everyone will please stop using "butthurt." It just sounds utterly fucking idiotic. It makes me cringe. And here's a thing: I understand slang. Slang fascinates me. I can reel off slang going back into the late 1800s. I am very aware of the evolution and role of slang. And there has never, ever been a time when it sounded as idiotic as does the baby-talk internet slang of Now. And I suspect most people using it are unaware of the homophobic connotations of "butthurt." (First known usage online dates to 1998, though it only became widespread more than a decade later.)

And yes, I am entirely aware that "butthurt: may actually have originated as a reference to someone behaving like a child who's just been spanked. That is, most likely, the correct etymology, and, likely, many people use it that way. But the connotation is still, undeniably, right there, and I also know that I've watched people use it in such a way that the anal rape-gay sex connotation is clearly intentional. On Facebook, Elizabeth Donald wrote, in response to my comment, "I hate it because it is generally is used when someone is being called on a sexist, racist, homophobic or other nasty attitude or comment, and it is used to dismiss all criticism as unimportant and hysterical. It's a word of blind privilege." Yes. Very much so. And, in fact, it's that out-of-hand dismissiveness that most annoys me about "butthurt." That and the fact that it's yet more baby talk. Also, I rather like the phrase, "a word of blind privilege."

---

In the comments to yesterday's entry, dipsomaniac wrote, "With all the meds you're taking and your mental state I wonder if you've ever considered applying for disability. I know it's a very personal decision but it is an option."

In 1992, I was declared "permanently disabled for psychological reasons" by the State of Alabama*, and for four years I received food stamps, Medicaid, and SSI checks. Stingy little SSI checks, but I got by on it. And I started writing. By 1996, I was making enough off my short fiction that I had to stop receiving benefits (though, technically, I'm still legally disabled). This is neither a secret, nor is it widely known. But I'm not ashamed of it. And I'm also aware that there may come a time when I am, once again, too sick to work. Truthfully, there have been times like that, on and off, over the years, but my will power and various meds and Spooky have always pulled me through back to this place where I can at least write. But could I go into work at a traditional job everyday? Could I get along with other employees? Could I deal with a rigid schedule? No. When I say I'm crazy, and people chide me for calling myself mentally ill, they need to know, I am genuinely mentally ill, to the point I cannot lead the sort of life most do. And yes, I do consider that a medical illness (actually, several in my case). And no, I'd prefer not to share all the diagnoses, though I'm sure a lot of that has leaked out over the last two decades.

And, on that note, I have to try to write a paltry few hundred words today, heat or no heat.

Not Awake,
Aunt Beast

* And this was before I was diagnosed in 2008 with a PNES seizure disorder and before my feet blew out in 2005 (Morton's neuromas, numbness, severe pain, inability to stand for long periods, etc.).

Comments

( 12 comments — Have your say! )
sovay
Jul. 23rd, 2014 05:35 pm (UTC)
I dreamed, briefly, of spending time in the company of William Burroughs.

There must be worse people to hang out with for an hour, but I'm sorry it wasn't a Victorian museum.

But the connotation is still, undeniably, right there, and I also know that I've watched people use it in such a way that the anal rape-gay sex connotation is clearly intentional.

derspatchel and I were talking about this a few days ago. That connotation is precisely the reason he doesn't like seeing it used. Neither of us thought of spanking.

When I say I'm crazy, and people chide me more calling myself mentally ill, they need to know, I am genuinely mentally ill, to the point I cannot lead the sort of life most do.

I am processing the fact that if you describe yourself as mentally ill, people assume you are employing hyperbole?
greygirlbeast
Jul. 23rd, 2014 05:38 pm (UTC)

I am processing the fact that if you describe yourself as mentally ill, people assume you are employing hyperbole?

That, and also the perhaps well meaning but intensely wrongheaded attitude that the word "ill" stigmatizes mentally-ill people.

Edited at 2014-07-23 05:39 pm (UTC)
greygirlbeast
Jul. 23rd, 2014 06:40 pm (UTC)

derspatchel and I were talking about this a few days ago. That connotation is precisely the reason he doesn't like seeing it used. Neither of us thought of spanking.

Also, this is heartening to here you say.
nerthus
Jul. 23rd, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC)
My son has mental illness (he's 30) and has been unable to hold an outside job for several years now; he has lived with me for over five years now, and he has been taken to the hospital on several occasions, most of them 'voluntary' but a couple not (the last time cops were called,sigh, by an online friend he'd messaged that he was killing himself, and then my son punched holes in my wall and broke my back living room window). Out of all those trips to the local hospital,on only one occasion was there a 'bed' available for him at a psychiatric facility two hours away from here. All the other times both the hospital's 'psych' ward and any rehabs/psychiatric facilities in the area were full, and he was turned out with nothing more than a prescrip for blood pressure and some lorazipam and told to 'get help' on his own. But he has no insurance (even Obama Care wouldn't insure him) and was turned down twice for SSI because the facility that 'diagnosed' him won't say he's schizophrenic (I truly believe he is) but only that he has 'panic disorder,' which MHMR won't cover at all here or help him with any counseling or anything else. He was able to be hired by a local nursing agency to become 'caregiver' to his adult autistic sister through HER account at Aging and Disabilities Dept, so he at least makes some income of his own and he is able to watch his sister and check her blood sugar daily and make her lunch, etc. till I get home from work (his sister is 26 and functions on the level of an elementary age child). He can handle that because he doesn't have to leave the house and he's familiar with her care and how to get hold of either myself or his father if there's any emergency when he's watching her. I only work part time because I just can't find someone to take care of BOTH of my adult children in my home; we eke out a living with my small paycheck, his check, and my daughter's SSI each month combined (no food stamps), and thank God she is on Medicaid. But my son has no insurance at all and can't seem to get any help, and it is rough if you have mental illness in this country but aren't wealthy or well insured, sigh. My son has above average IQ and is a wonderful writer/poet; in the past he's made booklets of his poems and sold them basically from his car in parking lots just to try to make some extra money; but he also has terrible depression, anxiety, sees and hears entities that no one else can, is paranoid that he is being 'spied on,' etc. He is 6'3" and almost 300 lbs as well, so any time he has an 'episode' I have to worry that he will end up choked out or tasered or shot to death by hair-trigger cops who are spooked by people with mental issues and inclined to shoot first and ask questions later. I worry about my son and my autistic daughter all the time (she also has a genetic defect, diabetes, and degenerative arthritis) and what would happen to them if I died; their dad lives nearby but he stays in denial about just how serious our son's mental illness has become and he has basically nothing to do at all with our autistic daughter. His wife doesn't want EITHER of them around, ever. I don't know what's to be done in this country about mental health issues, and I know that many people with mental illness are resistant to taking any meds even if they can get medical help (I know my son is VERY resistant to taking any psychotropic meds). And often the meds just don't work or have terrible side effects, sigh. I wish you all the best with your life, and I thank you for the books you have written, as I have enjoyed them very much.
dipsomaniac
Jul. 23rd, 2014 06:37 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say I feel for you after reading your comment. This country does not make it easy for people to get the care they need and deserve. I know every state is different but hopefully your son will be able to get the help he needs. Try contacting NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)... they have a website and affiliates all over the U.S.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Jul. 23rd, 2014 06:39 pm (UTC)

Yes, there *are* recourses. They can just be a nightmare to find, and the system doesn't make it easy. Even after my diagnoses, which included schizophrenia, I could still have been denied disability. I got lucky.
dipsomaniac
Jul. 23rd, 2014 06:46 pm (UTC)
In 1992, I was declared "permanently disabled for psychological reasons" by the State of Alabama*, and for four years I received food stamps, Medicaid, and SSI checks. Stingy little SSI checks, but I got by on it.

Thank you for the candid reply to my comment. Good luck with the writing today.
setsuled
Jul. 23rd, 2014 06:48 pm (UTC)
I couldn't sleep either. The heat and some guys randomly yelling outside from 2am to 4am.

I am entirely aware that "butthurt: may actually have originated as a reference to someone behaving like a child who's just been spanked.

Oh, that hadn't even occurred to me. It's one of those terms that remind me of the guys I see at the mall wearing white t-shirts and shorts with really bright red sneakers. I feel like everyone nowadays wants to grow up to be Bart Simpson.
greygirlbeast
Jul. 23rd, 2014 06:54 pm (UTC)

I feel like everyone nowadays wants to grow up to be Bart Simpson.

Yes!
sfmarty
Jul. 23rd, 2014 07:38 pm (UTC)
sleeping
When I lived in Manhatten a friend told me of a trick he used. Stretch toweling across your bed. It dried your sweat and keeps you cooler. It worked for me. I live in San Francisco now and sleep in, and wear, down.

everville340
Jul. 23rd, 2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
And there has never, ever been a time when it sounded as idiotic as does the baby-talk internet slang of Now.

I had bookmarked the Urban Dictionary to help translate some of these things for my head, but it's become almost overwhelming (not the Urban Dictionary but rather the sheer amount of what's being spoken or typed Now). It's okay if the masses are all trying to coin a proverbial phrase, but when paired with condensing words to a few select consonants and the like it really does seem idiotic and banal.
Alexander Gitlits
Jul. 24th, 2014 05:06 am (UTC)
Yesterday, I read a phrase in a book, which made me think of your cat story:
"People with cats had no reason to fear the night sounds haunting their houses. It's just the cat, they would tell themselves even when the feline was sleeping peacefully at the foot of the bed.There's nothing to worry about."
It's from a book "The Secret History of Moscow" by Ekaterina Sedia
( 12 comments — Have your say! )