Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: fear

The next step is the hardest one

I have good news. The Low FODMAP elimination diet I’ve been doing for….two months? Is that right? Well, that’s when I started planning it, at any rate. I know I was on it by Christmas, so at least a month and a half. Anyway, the good news is that with this diet, 90% of my digestive issues, including the worst, are gone. And, by the worst, I mean shitting my brains out for half an hour at a time. Oh, TMI, I guess, but I can’t really talk about my digestive issues without explaining what exactly is happening inside my body. Besides the ‘shitting my brain out’ aspect of it, there’s the bloated stomach feel and the flaming butthole feel. I still have a bit of the latter two, but it’s drastically reduced. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I can walk around without worrying about where the nearest bathroom is. I have only had to walk briskly to the bathroom two or three times in the past month and a half. Not run, and it didn’t last for half an hour.

By the way, when I say half an hour, I mean that I’m in the bathroom for a half hour to an hour–not that I’m shitting for the entire time.  It’s like five minutes of shitting, then five minutes of sitting and fuming, and then rinse, lather, and repeat. I  know it should be lather, rinse, and repeat, but it’s rinse, lather, and repeat in my brain, and I’m fine with that. Now, it’s walk briskly to the bathroom and sit for five minutes, then I’m done with it. It’s such a change, and I’m very happy.

So. The goal of the Low FODMAP elimination diet is not to be on it indefinitely. You can, but it’s really hard to get all the nutrients you need, and it’s very limiting. I have said that I don’t mind eating the same thing every day, but it’s getting a bit old now. I had been trying to open up my meals before trying this diet, but now it’s just a sad, sad world. I tweeted last night about how I was choking down a just barely ripe banana, which I hate, because a really ripe banana is High FODMAP whereas an unripe/barely ripe banana is Low FODMAP.

It was mushed up/sliced up and on top of my cereal, and I was just a sad, sad person choking it down. Weird fact about me. I can put foods on other foods, but then I eat the topping first. Such as, I’ll put spinach on top of pasta, fake cheeze, and sauce, then I eat the spinach before eating the rest. So, I was having cereal with mashed bananas and almond milk. I was forcing the bananas down mostly because I was trying to broadening my palate a bit, but it was not a good choice. I also chose it for the fiber-like aspects of it–for obvious reasons.

Back to the point of my post. The elimination diet is not meant to be forever. The next step is to add one ‘forbidden’ food at a time back into my diet. Here’s the thing. I’m unwilling to do it because I don’t want to spend more time in the bathroom again. It was not fun, and it really messed up my insides. And my asshole. I don’t want to go through that again, and I know that I’ll have to in order to figure out what is the actual trigger.

I am fortunate in that I work from home and can plan my day around the need to camp out in the bathroom. It doesn’t mean I want to do it, though. I remember how painful it was, and I do not want to go through it again. In addition, I know I’ll have to note my reactions (in writing), and I don’t want to do that, either. I write so much on a daily basis; I don’t like making it a chore. That’s why I resist when I read about journaling emotions or other such shit. But, in this case, while I can probably keep it in my head, I don’t want to count on it.

I have to do it, though. I want to be able to eat more and to know what exactly is irritating my bowels. My plan is to start with garlic, then onion, then honey. By the way, you’re suppose to add one a week. I suppose you could add everything from the same family (five different categories), and then figure out if that category is one that hurts me. That’s more a brute force way to deal with it, but the downside is that when there is the shittening, I’d still have to do each of those foods individually. The time saver is that if I don’t have a response to the category, then I can just skip to the next category rather than add one by one. Garlic and onion are often both present in the same foods, so I may just try both while controlling for other ingredients.

The other thing is whether I want to try adding back dairy and gluten. I’ve done without them for more than two-and-a-half years, and my digestive problems vastly improved. Do I want to risk it again? I’m pretty sure I have a lactose intolerance because I’m Asian. As for the gluten, it might be specific types of gluten.

If I do try to add back dairy and/or gluten, I’m going to take it very specific because I know there is something within each group that irritates my bowels. It would be amazing to be able to have real cheese again. Honestly, that is the one that I miss the most. I can do without many of the things I’ve eliminated, but goddamn I miss cheese. The reason I don’t care as much about the others is because there are several tasty substitutes. When I gave up gluten, dairy, and sugar twenty-plus years ago, the alternatives were made of tapioca root and arrow root, mostly. It was sad, and by the fourth month, I was literally dreaming of pizza.

I know I’m going to be happier at the end of this journey, but it’s the taking of said journey that is going to be a pain in my ass. And in my asshole. Which is not going to be a good time.

Fixing a Broken Society

It’s been three days since the Las Vegas shooting, and it’s already fading to the background as new atrocities spring up to take its place. Yes, the news is faithfully reporting about it, but there’s not much there, so it’s not dominating the headlines as it once was. I’ve read about the shooter, but there’s not much there. He’s the oldest of four boys, and his father left the family unexpectedly when they were kids. It turns out the father was a bank robber, which was interesting, but not sure it means much of anything. The picture of the killer is a high-stakes gambler. He met his girlfriend while he was gambling and she was working in a casino. The shooter’s brother said his brother was a multimillionaire, but if he liked to gamble, who knows what happened to the money? Another brother said they were all angry when their father left, but the shooter was the least-angry of the four. Then the brother revealed that he hadn’t spoken to the shooter in twenty years, but wouldn’t say why. To me, that negates the ‘least-angry’ claim as the brother doesn’t know what happened to his brother in the last twenty years. The girlfriend claimed not to have known anything, and she told her brother not to panic. The police weren’t aware of the shooter before this, and there are no immediate red flags as to why he did this.

Putting him aside, when I hear about a shooting, I immediately assume a few things. One, the shooter is male. This one is solid as there have been very few mass shootings done by women. Second, that it’s going to be a white man. This one is pretty solid as the vast majority of mass shootings have been done by white men. One notable exception was Elliot Rodger, the…

::has to Google it because there have been so many mass shootings::

Santa Barbara shooter. He was half-Asian, and part of his screed was a healthy dose of internalized racism. He would see white women with full Asian men and grow angry that he couldn’t get a girlfriend because in his mind, he was better than those full-blooded Asian men because he was half-white. The first people he killed were his Asian male roommates (with a knife), and I bet it’s partly because of his internalized racism. He was a PUA (Pick-Up Artist) and an incel (his word. Involuntary celibate), and he was full of rage because he wasn’t getting pussy he thought he so richly deserved.

His race was notable, but his mentality wasn’t. Another thing I think when I hear about a mass shooting is that the shooter will be an angry man who has a history of violence and/or watches a ton of FOX ‘News’ and gets riled up about all the ‘illegals’, ‘hostile blacks’, and ‘angry atheists’. This man is bitter because his life hasn’t gone the way he’s been told it should go, and he knows it’s ‘their’ fault. It doesn’t matter who ‘they’ are. It could be women (it’s women a lot of the time. 54% of mass shootings involve domestic violence, as I noted before); it could be minorities or undocumented immigrants; it could be Jews; it could be just about anyone else. It certainly isn’t their own fault; it can’t be!


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Fear and Loathing in the USA

tattered freedom
Freedom for all?

I saw an American flag flying on a car while I was on my way to the grocery store and a thrill of fear ran down my spine. Same when I saw the American flag flying in front of a neighbor’s house the day after the election. Later on, I saw three American flags in the user name of a troll on Twitter, and that jolt of fear came again.

I had felt the same fear once before for a sustained period of time. It was after 9/11, when American flags started flying everywhere. To me, the flag had become a symbol of empty jingoism, rabid nationalism, and the opposite of patriotism. It was used to shut up dissenters, those who protested the invasion of Iraq. We were right, by the way, though many people prefer to retcon their memories of how they acted during that time. The flag was shorthand for, “Get out of this country, you traitor,” and since then, I have had an aversion to it.

This time, the flag is a replacement for the ‘don’t tread on me’ logo and the Confederate flag. It says, “Get out, Chink. You’re not welcome.” It’s not a coincident that they’ve sprung up in my very Democratic neighborhood as it’s a way to signal other like-minded people that a friend resides within. It’s meant to intimidate those who don’t feel the same or who are not of the majority, and in places where there are more who think like that than not, it will probably do the trick.

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There is No Happy Ending

I’m not a brave woman.

I am rabidly conflict-avoidant, and I’m always fearful. So, to see all the protests and people talking about resistance is very gratifying to me, but it also makes me feel ashamed.

I am always afraid. It’s a matter of extent, and it’s faded in time, but there’s always a nugget of fear in the back of my mind. I have to know the closest exit at all times, I will freak the fuck out if you touch me unexpectedly, and any time I’m in a tense situation, my PTSD kicks in.

I’ve heard more than one survivor of sexual assault talking about flashbacks and trigger warnings. Not about anything they read or see, but about the result of the election.

We talk about rape culture, and many people pooh-pooh that it exists. This is the clearest example that many people just don’t give a shit about sexual assault. Trump can be caught on tape saying he can grab any pussy he wants because he’s a star, and after the initial outrage, a collective yawn. “It’s just locker talk.” “He didn’t really mean it.” “All guys talk like that.”
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Rage Into the Night

soothing for my soul
Therapy.

I am sorry there was no post this morning. I think many of you can understand why. I watched the returns last night, my heart sinking further and further as the night went on. I went to bed before the official declaration, but I knew by the time I tried to sleep, what the result would be.

I cried myself to sleep. Huddled in a small, tight ball, the blankets pulled up over my suddenly chilled body.

I knew. I knew a vast swathe of this country hated me because of my skin color, my sexuality, my gender, and a whole number of other things. I’m old. I’m tired. I’m cynical. I’m not stupid or naive.

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One Nation Under Trump

dump trump!
Would-be king, Trump

I am terrified of a President Trump.

I am not being hyperbolic. I was not terrified of a President McCain or a President Romney, though I thought both were terrible choices at the time, of course. President Palin? Yes, I was scared at the thought of her kicking McCain down the stairs and claiming his presidency, but that now seems tame in comparison to the idea of President Trump. I thought Sarah Palin was the nadir of what the GOP had to offer America. Oh, how naive I was back then. I’m not saying she’s any more acceptable as president now than she was then, but Trump has lowered the bar to the point where I’m almost longing for W. Almost.

Trump is not qualified to be president. He hasn’t been an elected official of any sort, and while I know it’s in vogue to scoff at career politicians, I want my president to have SOME prior political experience. Would I go to a surgeon who had never done an operation before? Fuck no! Then why the hell would I want a president who doesn’t know how many articles the Constitution has? I didn’t know, either, but I’m not running for fucking president. I want my president to know what the job actually entails. I don’t want my president to be sitting on Twitter, responding to every comment tweeted his way. He calls Clinton ‘Crooked Hillary’ and Elizabeth Warren ‘Goofy Elizabeth Warren’ as if he’s an eight-year old boy. He admires Vladimir Putin and says, “If he says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him.” This clearly shows how narcissistic Trump is and how easy it would be to manipulate him. For all his flaws, Putin is not a stupid man. I have no doubt that he would be able to make Trump do whatever he (Putin) wanted him  simply by buttering up his ego.
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