#whyididntreport

I was 13. It was May of 1977. I was a good Catholic girl. My parents would’ve been angry that I went somewhere with a classmate I didn’t know well.

There was someone else there as well, someone I thought I could trust. They were stoned on weed. I was not. The next thing I know, the guy was on top of me, pulling my pants down, and I tried to fight back, he threatened me with a pair of scissors. I struggled to free myself, until I felt him inside me, and him saying triumphantly, “I’m in!”

I tried to scream, but he put his hand over my mouth and told me to enjoy it. I did not enjoy it. I was traumatized.

He threatened to kill me if I ever told. Her started rumors about how “easy” I was; classmates, including girls, called me a slut, a whore, a prostitute (and the little rhyme they made up about it). He bragged about what he did to me like he did it every day.

I stayed silent for six months, trying to defend myself against the untruths being told about me. I only told my parents when my sister heard the rumors and told them.

I remember crying in my parents bedroom, telling them about what was done to me. I don’t know what happened after that, but I suspect my parents went to the school to talk to the principal, and nothing was done. I had to listen to those rumors about me for the rest of middle school. It broke up the 8th grade romance I had with a completely different boy after he was ragged about being my boyfriend.

It even followed me to high school, but by that time, I didn’t have to defend myself anymore.

The kid who did this was expelled from school for something completely unrelated to my assault, and I never saw him again, but I’ll never forget his face, his clothing, his total lack of remorse. And I still remember his name.

The other kid in the room at the time of the assault apologized to me in 10th grade for not doing anything to stop what was happening to me. I forgave him. I realized years later that he was just as much a victim as I was. He had other issues he was having trouble dealing with.

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Twenty years later, while living in Virginia, I called the police department in my hometown to report, and was told point blank there was nothing they could do because too much time had gone by. I never really believed that, but didn’t pursue it. I was married, had kids, and a career. I had to protect them. And myself.

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I have no idea what happened to the monster who turned my life upside down 41 years ago. I sincerely hope he’s in jail or dead and rotting in hell. That what he deserves. I still have to live with this for the rest of my days. The Kavanaugh hearings triggered me. I have dealt with these old and horrible memories and feelings for a while. It’s time to rebuild that protective wall back up stronger, sturdier and higher than before. I’m 54 years old, and I’ll never be free of these feelings completely. I just put my head down and keep going. It’s all I have.

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Nike, Kaepernick, and everyone’s right to free speech

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or the prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peacefully to assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances.

First amendment, y’all.

Nike, the bastion of sports equipment, clothing, shoes, and “Just Do It”, has chosen Colin Kaepernick as the face of the 30th anniversary of their Just Do It campaign, and people are up in arms about it!

OMG, Colin effing Kaepernick, the face of Nike? He of the take a knee during the national anthem protest against police brutality in the African American community.

And, as things go, it’s gotten all political.

Some people are so fired up over this that they are burning their Nike stuff in protest.

A couple of points:

  1. Nike stuff ain’t cheap.
  2. Not that Nike cares what you do with their stuff once you buy it. They already have your money.

Oh and hey, you aren’t fooling anyone with your fake indignation. Once this dies down, you’ll be out buying new stuff with that famous swoosh on it.

Some people even got the late Pat Tillman in on this. The former NFL player left the league, and a huge contract, to serve in the military. He was later killed by friendly fire.

These people are saying that Tillman would be outraged at Kaepernick taking a knee. First question is… How in God’s green earth would they know what Tillman would think or say about this? Did he not serve our country to preserve everyone’s right to free speech? Even Colin Kaepernick’s?

For the record, I believe this is not about disrespecting the flag, the military, or the country…no matter how much our current president and his braindead followers want you to believe it is.

What it is, at its core, is a protest. Pure and simple. Life is inherently more difficult if you are not white. I don’t think I’d want to be pulled over, or have the cops called on me for just living my life. I don’t think I’d want to be staring down the barrel of some cop’s gun because he/she is afraid I might harm them.

For what it’s worth, I’m white. I don’t think I’m above someone else because of the color of their skin.

But back to Nike for a quick second. Are you really going to boycott them because it’s fashionable, following the other sheep who are doing it? Or are you going to think for your own damn self and decide this is the way you want to go? Really?

Remember that I posted the First amendment above? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if I think you’re wrong. I don’t live or die by what someone else thinks. If we agree, great. If we don’t, then we don’t.

And this blog post you’re reading? It’s just me exercising my First amendment rights.

Because I stand up for those who kneel.

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I’m Stef, and this is where it’s @ !~

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Oh, one more thing: if you choose to leave a comment, please keep it civil. I know I’m ruffling some feathers here, so if all you’re going to do is call me a clueless snowflake crybaby whore, then I reserve the right to not approve your comment. Okay? We square on that?

This not being able to breathe bullshit is getting old

I went to the store today, and needless to say, I overdid it. I was gasping for breath by the time I got home!

Fortunately, I see the pulmonologist on Sept 12th, so maybe I can get this resolved and I can be active again.

I just don’t like the way it makes me feel at all. Maybe Integris will take my concerns seriously if I pass out in public and have to be carted off to the ER. Not that I’m going to do that (because being incapacitated in public would be humiliating!), but come on, now. If i have to see that ER doc at Integris Edmond again, and he tells me there’s nothing he can do, I think I might lose my shit.

And I’m sure that they’re discriminating against me because I’m on SoonerCare. Like I can help what’s going on with my lungs right now.

So Mercy Pulmonology better have answers for me on the 12th. Just fix the God damned problem, okay? Is that too much to ask?

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I’m Stef and this is where it’s @ !~

Oh, it’s you…

Edward!

I’m getting a grandson!

Scott and Sarah haven’t worked out a middle name for Edward yet, though “Landon” is high on the list.

UPDATE 8/28/18: Edward’s middle name WILL be Landon after all

You should’ve seen the ultrasound photos though! 3D images are fascinating! I could actually make out facial features, see his little hands curled up next to his chin…then there was the one that left no doubt that this baby is a boy.

I can’t wait til January to meet him!

Just call me Nonna….

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I’m Stef, and this is where it’s @ !~

In about 4 weeks

I’ll find out if my first grandchild will be a Celestia Rose or an Edward (middle name still being considered).

I’ll be happy with either, but we need more girls in the family, IMO.

I’ll still be Nonna, though.

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I’m Nonna (to be) Stef, and this is where it’s @ !~

My take on the “Zero Tolerance Policy”

This subject makes me so angry, that I cannot find the words at times to express my outrage.

You probably heard that the Trump Administration enacted a policy by where folks coming from Central American countries fleeing gang violence and corruption to seek asylum in the US are being arrested and their children sent to detainment centers for Lord knows how long.

Imagine young children being forcibly taken from their parents and placed into “tender care centers” (infants to age 13), or detainment centers (for some as young as 6, to as old as 17), separated by gender.

The Department of Homeland Security has released photos and videos of the inside two of the facilities. They would not allow the few journalists they invited to take their own photos and video, or talk to the kids being held there.

By some reports, children held in these facilities are only allowed outside for two hours a day, under armed guards. The other twenty two hours they are inside, again under armed guards, where they supposedly are fed, clothed, educated, and taken care of. And, they’ve only shown where boys are being held. Where are the facilities for girls and why have we not seen them?

Trump keeps repeating the same lie that it’s the Democrats law. Zero Tolerance is not a law, it’s a policy that just went into effect in April, and Trump refuses to own it. He blames everyone under the sun except himself (as is his m.o.).

At a press conference, Attorney General Jeff Sessions even quoted the Bible, saying that you must obey the laws because God preordained the laws. Since when did this country enact a Divine right to rule?

They didn’t. Because the founding fathers rejected such.

Sessions is now being brought up on charges of child abuse by the United Methodist Church, of which he is a member.

Other Administration members totally support this cruel policy: press secretary Sarah Sanders; Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Neilsen; Ambassador to the UN Haley; presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway; and though we have not really heard from Vice President Mike Pence, he supports it as well.

Trump has the power to stop this evil insanity, but won’t. In my opinion, he’s using this policy and the people affected by it, as a bargaining chip so he can get his damn wall built (you know, the one he said that Mexico would pay for).

As to the argument that Democrats passed a law in 1997 allowing this, and why now is Trump being criticized for it, I’ve read an excellent explanation online. It was posted by a woman named Karen Brown, passing on information by a professor at Cal State Fullerton, Michelle Martin, Ph.D.

Have you heard that children were separated from their parents under Obama & Clinton? Then, you need a little Facts vs Myths lesson. Michelle Martin, PhD Cal State Fullerton summed up the most important FACTS:

There is so much misinformation out there about the Trump administration’s new “zero tolerance” policy that requires criminal prosecution, which then warrants the separating of parents and children at the border. Before responding to a post defending this policy, please do your research…As a professor at a local Cal State, I research and write about these issues, so here, I’ll make it easier for you:

Myth: This is not a new policy and was practiced under Obama and Clinton – FALSE. The policy to separate parents and children is new and was instituted on 4/6/2018. It was the brainchild of John Kelly and Stephen Miller to serve as a deterrent for undocumented immigration, approved by Trump, and adopted by Sessions. Prior administrations detained migrant families, but didn’t have a practice of forcibly separating parents from their children unless the adults were deemed unfit. https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1049751/download?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Myth: This is the only way to deter undocumented immigration – FALSE. Annual trends show that arrests for undocumented entry are at a 46 year low, and undocumented crossings dropped in 2007, with a net loss (more people leaving than arriving). Deportations have increased steadily though (spiking in 1996 and more recently), because several laws that were passed since 1996 have made it legally more difficult to gain legal status for people already here, and thus increased their deportations (I address this later under the myth that it’s the Democrats’ fault). What we mostly have now are people crossing the border illegally because they’ve already been hired by a US company, or because they are seeking political asylum. Economic migrants come to this country because our country has kept the demand going. But again, many of these people impacted by Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy appear to be political asylum-seekers. https://www.npr.org/2017/12/05/568546381/arrests-for-illegal-border-crossings-hit-46-year-low

Myth: Most of the people coming across the border are just trying to take advantage of our country by taking our jobs – FALSE. Most of the parents who have been impacted by Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy have presented themselves as political asylum-seekers at a U.S. port-of-entry, from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Rather than processing their claims, they have been taken into custody on the spot and had their children ripped from their arms. The ACLU alleges that this practice violates the Asylum Act, and the UN asserts that it violates the UN Treaty on the State of Refugees, one of the few treaties the US has ratified. This is an illegal act on the part of the United States government, not to mention morally and ethically reprehensible. https://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/21/us/meatpackers-profits-hinge-on-pool-of-immigrant-labor.html

Myth: We’re a country that respects the Rule of Law, and if people break the law, this is what they get – FALSE. We are a country that has an above-ground system of immigration and an underground system. Our government (under both parties) has always been aware that US companies recruit workers in the poorest parts of Mexico for cheap labor, and ICE (and its predecessor INS) has looked the other way because this underground economy benefits our country to the tune of billions of dollars annually. Thus, even though the majority of people crossing the border now are asylum-seekers, those who are economic migrants (migrant workers) likely have been recruited here to do jobs Americans will not do. https://www.upi.com/Top_News/Opinion/2016/10/26/Donald-Trumps-wall-ignores-the-economic-logic-of-undocumented-immigrant-labor/2621477498203/

Myth: The children have to be separated from their parents because there parents must be arrested and it would be cruel to put children in jail with their parents – FALSE. First, in the case of economic migrants crossing the border illegally, criminal prosecution has not been the legal norm, and families have been kept together at all cost. Also, crossing the border without documentation is a typically a misdemeanor not requiring arrest, but rather a civil proceeding. Additionally, parents who have been detained have historically been detained with their children in ICE “family residential centers,” again, for civil processing. The Trump administration’s shift in policy is for political purposes only, not legal ones. See p. 18: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/ms-l-v-ice-plaintiffs-opposition-defendants-motion-dismiss-doc-56

Myth: We have rampant fraud in our asylum process the proof of which is the significant increase we have in the number of people applying for asylum. FALSE. The increase in asylum seekers is a direct result of the increase in civil conflict and violence across the globe. While some people may believe that we shouldn’t allow any refugees into our country because “it’s not our problem,” neither our current asylum law, nor our ideological foundation as a country support such an isolationist approach. There is very little evidence to support Sessions’ claim that abuse of our asylum-seeking policies is rampant. Also, what Sessions failed to mention is that the majority of asylum seekers are from China, not South of the border. Here is a very fair and balanced assessment of his statements: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/oct/19/jeff-sessions/jeff-sessions-claim-about-asylum-system-fraudulent/

Myth: The Democrats caused this, “it’s their law.” FALSE. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats caused this, the Trump administration did (although the Republicans could fix this today, and have refused). I believe what this myth refers to is the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which were both passed under Clinton in 1996. These laws essentially made unauthorized entry into the US a crime (typically a misdemeanor for first-time offenders), but under both Republicans and Democrats, these cases were handled through civil deportation proceedings, not a criminal proceeding, which did not require separation. And again, even in cases where detainment was required, families were always kept together in family residential centers, unless the parents were deemed unfit (as mentioned above). Thus, Trump’s assertion that he hates this policy but has no choice but to separate the parents from their children, because the Democrats “gave us this law” is false and nothing more than propaganda designed to compel negotiation on bad policy. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-democrats-us-border-migrant-families-children-parents-mexico-separate-a8401521.html

Myth: The parents and children will be reunited shortly, once the parents’ court cases are finalized. FALSE. Criminal court is a vastly different beast than civil court proceedings. Also, the children are being processed as unaccompanied minors (“unaccompanied alien children”), which typically means they are sent into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS). Under normal circumstances when a child enters the country without his or her parent, ORR attempts to locate a family member within a few weeks, and the child is then released to a family member, or if a family member cannot be located, the child is placed in a residential center (anywhere in the country), or in some cases, foster care. Prior to Trump’s new policy, ORR was operating at 95% capacity, and they simply cannot effectively manage the influx of 2000+ children, some as young as 4 months. Also, keep in mind, these are not unaccompanied minor children, they have parents. There is great legal ambiguity on how and even whether the parents will get their children back because we are in uncharted territory right now. According to the ACLU lawsuit (see below), there is currently no easy vehicle for reuniting parents with their children. Additionally, according to a May 2018 report, numerous cases of verbal, physical and sexual abuse were found to have occurred in these residential centers. https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-obtains-documents-showing-widespread-abuse-child-immigrants-us-custody

Myth: This policy is legal. LIKELY FALSE. The ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration on 5/6/18, and a recent court ruling denied the government’s motion to dismiss the suit. The judge deciding the case stated that the Trump Administration policy is “brutal, offensive, and fails to comport with traditional notions of fair play and decency.” The case is moving forward because it was deemed to have legal merit. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-07/aclu-suit-over-child-separations-at-border-may-proceed-judge

Stef’s (mis)adventures at Oklahoma Heart Hospital, part 2

Four days ago (or June 5, 2018 if you’re reading this 2 years from now), I had an angiogram to see if my breathing issues were related to any heart abnormalities I might have.

The day before all this, I got a phone call to follow up on the instructions I was mailed 2 weeks earlier. Those were:

  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight
  • Shower with antibacterial soap
  • Be at the hospital at 11am for check in
  • Bring someone with me because I might be too loopy afterwards from the anesthesia I’d be given (thanks, Jeff!)

So we get there at the appointed time, and I have paperwork to fill out. Jeff gets a buzzer (like the kind they give you at restaurants).

I’m taken to a room in the day patient ward, where I’m given a gown, and instructions to undress completely. They gave me slipper socks to wear. Then they take my vitals and some blood.

Every time someone new came into my room, they asked for my name and date of birth. That got a little tedious, but I understand why they do it.

Jeff was allowed to come back to my room until it was time to go have the procedure done. The cardiologist came in to explain what he was going to be doing, that the anesthesia wouldn’t completely knock me out, but i wouldn’t remember anything about the procedure being done.

And I didn’t. I remember before and after, but during I was blissfully unaware.

They put the catheter in my wrist instead of my groin (a nurse even checked if I’d needed to be shaved. I didn’t.), and was given instructions for after care.

Since I had to stay for several hours after the procedure was done to make sure the place they’d put the catheter didn’t bleed, I got to order lunch.

They have excellent food at OHH, by the way.

When it was determined that i could go home, Jeff called Daniel to come pick us up. As soon as I got home, i asked for mac n cheese, then took a long nap.

And there’s nothing wrong with my heart!

So the search for the cause of my breathing issues goes on.

Wee.

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I’m Stef, and this is where it’s @ ~!