Posted in family, friends

What family means to me.

Family means everything to me that it means to most people, but it also means more things.

“I love you” in American Sign Language with a rainbow hand.

Which means when I use terms like birth family I am not using them the way some people use them. I am not using them to either make it more or less family. All of my family is family no matter how they came to be a part of it.

I do not like using the words chosen family. I think that is a wonderful concept for those who experience it that way. It’s not how I experience family at all, no matter who the family are. I have not chosen a single relative, whether biological or not.

I won’t get into what makes someone family if they’re not biologically related. I’d never finish the post.

But love is a lot of it. And being in my life in certain ways is a lot of it. And I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who has become my family in this manner.

But the important part.

The really important part.

Is this.

Having non-birth-related family does not take away from either my relationship with my biological family, or my relationship with my non-biological family.

And I do not, in my head or my heart or anywhere else people use as words for thoughts and feelings, I do not put either biological or non-biological relatives as more or less important, more or less loved, or more or less part of my family.

You’re all family.

And I love y’all. Every single one of you.

And I’m sorry I couldn’t make you the post you deserve.

But I did my best.

And the post got written.

And that’s something.

No, it’s a lot.

But thank you all for being in my life and making it better even though I am terrible at keeping in touch with other people. You all matter to me and having, say, a second mom, doesn’t mean I don’t also have a first mom. and these are all just bad translations of family relationships. But the big thing: More family means more people I love, it doesn’t mean dividing people into greater and lesser parts of my family. And yeah I don’t get along with everyone, but that’s true of every kind of family I’ve ever heard of.

Thank you for being out there.

Thank you for being my family.

Sorry, again, that I haven’t been able to make you the post that you deserve. But I love you, both people I know and people I don’t. people I’m related to by “blood” and otherwise. And again the reason I don’t use the term chosen family is because I didn’t pick anyone out any more than my biological family picked me out. My non-biological family are no more chosen than my biological family, and chosen doesn’t make anyone better or worse than anyone else, or more or less close to me, or more or less loved.

Also I have both immediate and distant relatives, and living relatives and ancestors, within my non-biological family. Just as there are in my biological family.

So. All of you: Thank you. I love you.

Posted in Being human, family, friends, Monday / lundi / lunes / måndag / Monntag

I’ll never write this one if I try to explain it all either.

Understand guys — I wanted to make y’all a post. I know exactly how I want it organized. I know what I want to put in it. And the whole point is showing you I love you. But for whatever reason, I can’t write it as intended. It’s like walking through sludge until I’m surrounded by bramble and can’t find my way out in any direction. Then my head gets tangled up in everything else and I run off and don’t write.

The reason it was going to be so complicated was because I wanted to really pay tribute to each of the individual people in my life who currently count to me as family. This is difficult for many reasons. One reason is juggling privacy concerns — who to use names, who to use initials, what details to leave in, what details to leave out, what details to change. I’m not talking about legal limits on privacy, I’m talking about my attempts at common decency. Which are sometimes stricter.

So there’s a post I want to make, and I’m trying to make it. And I think I’m gonna succeed at making it, at this point. But this is the lead-in to it — that again, I’m having issues with trying to get everything said. So I’m trying again for allowing myself to write without writing as perfectly as I want to.

Because if I had my way?

I’d have a drawing for each and every one of you, or a photograph. And a little bit of commentary. And it’d all be done so that only some people were identifiable, and only in some ways, and so forth. And that’s just not how it’s gonna happen.

The most likely outcome is I’m gonna write a summary about my relationship to y’all and what it means to me, but without as much personalized touches as I would like. And then maybe the personal touches will trickle through to the light of day in the end when I’m done writing all this other stuff.

But for now? This is all I can promise. This post here. Because I already wrote it. But I am pretty sure I will be able to at least write a couple short posts. Where “short” doesn’t necessarily mean the post is short, it just means… something in my brain leading up to the post is shorter than it would’ve been otherwise.

This gets a little bit carried off into corners of my brain it’d never come back from — if I were to explain to you the communication and cognitive issues that I am having here? If I took more than just these couple sentences in this short paragraph, to describe it? I would never get the post written. So this paragraph has to be all, for now. Suffice to say temporal lobe epilepsy does not make for being an efficient writer.

Anyway I’m gonna go and try to write the best post I actually can write, as opposed to what I want to write, and that’s gonna have to be good enough.

Posted in Being human, family, food, friends, medical, people, tube feeding

My big dream in life.

I don’t think this life is going to happen.

But here would be my dream.

It’s very simple.

I’m 80 or 90 or something.

So’s Anne. I assume so is her SO. And my other roughly same-age friends (for some reason I don’t have many) like Joelle.

We get to hang out as old people and reminisce over a lifelong friendship.

That’s what I want.

I don’t expect it.

But it’d be massively cool.

Anne is kinda my cognitive doppelgänger. She’s the other human in this picture (her SO took it, so he’s kinda in the picture if you count behind the camera as in the picture):

Anne, me, and Igor. All with weirdly similar posture and facial expressions.

I want to be old and I want Anne to be old.

That’s what I want in life.

Full head of grey hair and a friend or two to use up all that time with. And as many cats as can safely work out for everyone.

As it is, I count every grey hair as an accomplishment. And right now I’m working on making it to 40, which I had a good chance of never seeing, so that’ll be an accomplishment too.

I don’t think it’s wrong to want this.

I do think it’s realistic to expect it’s unlikely. But there’s a chance. I’ve got some good longevity genes. They might make up for all the other crap. They sure have with my mom, who’s managed to survive a number of codes with some of the same conditions I have and is in her seventies. Her mom’s in her nineties.

Anne does longevity research for a living, and says I actually have longevity genes that are known about. I could’ve guessed it from the long lives of many of my relatives, but it’s reassuring. Some part of me wonders if the longevity genes are how we survive to adulthood at all with some of the medical crap running in our family.

But at any rate, that’s most of what I want out of life. No matter what my life looks like at that point — that’s part of the interest in life, is you can’t predict it. Right now my life is looking kind of sucky from the outside, but I value being alive just as much as ever, and I can’t stand the idea that being old or disabled is a ~fate worse than death~ and all that. Right now I’m living on a bed in someone’s living room and we’ve both been in the hole financially since the beginning of the month, and that’s just the start of a long description I won’t go into. Suffice to say that my sense of time makes managing finances without help about as possible as managing meds without help. We’re tightening our belts, but it’s hard.

But basically.

I just want to be around for life. I don’t need to be healthy, I don’t need to avoid dementia or anything like that, I just want to be there. I’ll have plenty of time for death when my time comes.

But I already feel lucky.

Because I’m here and I have had so many times I almost wasn’t.

I’m already older than I or medical professionals predicted.

Nobody — nobody — is guaranteed any time at all. We get what we get.

So every moment we’re alive is a chance to experience that life, to live, to love.

And every piece of us is gunning for us.

And then in the end we die and get to become part of other kinds of life, that wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for us. Just like the mushrooms and asparagus in the fridge — some of our last fresh veggies my roommate made into a delicious tube-soup for me — get to be part of me in a minute. They had their time to be part of a fungus and a plant respectively, and now they get to be part of a human being and the assorted things that live in and on the human being. I love the idea of being part of that whole chain of life.

But I still want to be here as long as I can.

And I do love that this is biologically a part of what life wants, so this isn’t just a directive from my brain, it’s a directive from every living part of my body. And I do feel like I have to take into account the opinions of things most people don’t think of as having opinions. I think of humans and other animals as basically very very very weirdly complicated and specialized fungus-like or slime-mold-like creatures living together and cooperating inside portable bodies, alongside assorted hangers-on and symbiotes.

Not exactly, but that’s as close as I can get with words, so take it or leave it. I think it’s cool. And given how much I rely on my entire body, I care quite a lot about my survival as an entire organism, not as a couple of thinky bits that like staring at themselves a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I like my thinky bits as well as the next animal, but they’re not all there is to me. And I think things with thinky bits do tend to get a little bit intellectually vain about the whole matter when it’s just the way our bodies grow.

So.

Grey hair. Friends. Cats. Longevity, or hell, even just slight old age. Want.