World Prematurity Day

Source: World Prematurity Day

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I’m Afraid of Black Men

I’m afraid of black men. Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about domestic violence. Really, this has nothing to do with black men. Except it does, for me.

I have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is triggered when I see a black man on the sidewalk or riding a bike.  This is because I have experienced domestic abuse at the hands of a former boyfriend who happens to be black. I hate this.  I absolutely hate that black men are the trigger.  Why?  Because I love black men. I love everyone. I am terrified that my fear, which has nothing at all to do with black men, might show itself and make a lovely black man think that I, a white woman, hate him. Just because black men trigger a physiological response from memories being pinned to a bed, against a wall, and restrained in a bathroom by my former black boyfriend does not mean I hate black men. It just means that seeing a black man in a public space causes a fight or flight response in me: several moments of intense fear manifested by heavy breathing, a rapid heartbeat, and blurred mental acuity.  The times that these triggers have actually been accurate – when the black man on the sidewalk has been my ex – my panic actually lasts for many hours while my brain replays the encounter along with memories of the abuse, leaving my body tense and my brain a mess. Continue reading I’m Afraid of Black Men

Patient Advocacy & Courage; Becoming a Voice For Many

Do you know how much courage it takes to tell 200 strangers it hurts to have sex?  Courage.

Continue reading Patient Advocacy & Courage; Becoming a Voice For Many

I Said “Yes” to Big Pharma

I didn’t want to start this blog.  I knew it would get me in trouble.  The kind of trouble that puts me in front of a crowd of 200 people from around the world to talk about what it’s like to live with Ankylosing Spondylitis.  I’m in trouble. Big time.

I didn’t want to dive into something bigger than I could handle – something that had the potential to amplify my voice into something like…well, like this conference I’m going to in San Francisco the first weekend in November. I’ve really done it now.

Continue reading I Said “Yes” to Big Pharma

Remembering Rachael, Raising Ruth

Rachael died the day before her daughter was due to be born.

But baby Ruth was already over four months old when Rachael died. She was born so early she weighed less than a pound – 0.95 pounds, to be exact. That’s less than the weight of a four-stick package of butter.

Our physical bodies are on loan to us.  They will die. It is our spirit bodies that are unique and will never die.  It is our spirit bodies that fall in love; our physical bodies only transmit it through touch. It is what we leave behind of our spirit bodies, our love, that becomes our legacy. Continue reading Remembering Rachael, Raising Ruth

Come, let us follow the Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry to Galilee

Clergy of Trinity Cathedral in Sacramento, CA, Summer 2015
Clergy of Trinity Cathedral in Sacramento, CA, Summer 2015

The Episcopal Church is going Jesus on you. And this is no Jesus you’ve ever been hurt by. This is the life-affirming, love-giving Jesus who is everywhere. He’s at Pride, he’s at the bus stop, he’s at Burning Man, he’s in your kitchen. And everywhere he is, he’s giving people hugs and cake. Continue reading Come, let us follow the Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry to Galilee

Trailblazing Ranger Women and Girls Playing With Boys

This Friday, October 16th, 2015, Major Lisa Jaster, the third woman to make it through the grueling Ranger School, is expected to graduate and walk away with her well-deserved Ranger tab.  I’m no Army woman. I’m no fan of war or the need for a military.  In fact, I’m a complete pacifist.  But that does not keep me from being proud of trailblazers like Major Lisa Jaster, Captain Kristen Griest and 1st Lieutenant Shaye Haver to remind the world that we – women and men – are more alike than we are different and we [should] have equal access and opportunity in the world.

These women, these fantastic rangers, are each “one of the boys” you could say.  Or not. Continue reading Trailblazing Ranger Women and Girls Playing With Boys

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