I Got Cinderella’d and It’s Not All Great

My husband and I come from two different worlds. He comes from a different stratosphere than I do. I don’t get along with his family, even before I ran away twice. They mistreated me while we were just dating, and I never really understood why until I looked at class differences and ableism.

I can understand not liking me after what happened in January, but the hate I received before my wedding day didn’t make much sense to me. I was threatened with a letter from a church to stay away from my husband because I was “depressed.” Not to mention all the snide remarks about me being a bed warmer and my husband needing a vasectomy.

Unfortunately most of this was communicated to me through my husband, so it was all secondhand information. But it took me to the point where they have to ask permission to come into my house (which I usually do allow because I was raised to be a hospitable southerner) and I will never, ever voluntarily go into their homes.

In rich families, children are investments. Not in a way that children are investments for the future, but in that they can make money for the family. Who they choose to marry has a direct impact on how much cash the child makes for the family and how much of a financial burden they will be.

I was developing fibromyalgia and lupus symptoms while dating my husband. Most likely I was seen as a money pit. My husband told me his family was afraid I would drag him down.

Let me stop right here with this gosh darn ableism. An able bodied person can drag any slooshin person down. Anybody can drag anybody down. I have some friends I cut out of my life who were nightmares. And dragging someone down is cyclical. I most likely will reintroduce those negative friends again once I feel I can. We’ll start out positive and go back down the negative gravy train eventually, then it’ll get too much. But a marriage is commitment. Part of commitment is saying, “I will love you even when I think you suck.”

People fall down and then they come back up again like a dolphin out of water, complete with sex for pleasure and all.

Rich people tend to hide these basic life lessons from their kids by controlling them with gifts that come with invisible strings only made visible when the kid steps out of line. Basically, rich people scare me.

A Disabled Body is an “Every Body”

I love my beta readers. Without them The Disability-Friendly Wedding Planner would not exist. Most of them are my family, so I owe them my life. However, I struggle with my beta readers from an ideological standpoint. This is something very real.

Before the book changed its name and content, my beta readers were great. They still are great, but with much crappery.

When the book transitioned to The Disability-Friendly Wedding Planner, things changed between me and my beta readers. I told my beta readers I wanted to include men, they responded men weren’t to do any wedding planning. Then, when I said I wanted to include genderqueer people, they responded with, “But they already have wedding books. Everything is already about them. You see them everywhere.”

Them. Them should be a curse word, unless you’re referring to gender-neutral pronouns.

We live in an Us vs. Them world, where many people see themselves as an US, while everyone else is a THEM. Thems are subhuman, immoral, and undeserving of what US have. Us are kind, intelligent, noble, moral, and good. Us deserves their rights and protection.

Ultimately, Us does not understand Them.

There is a way to be a Them on multiple levels, an Us on multiple levels, or partially an Us and partially a Them. This is called intersectionality – the blend of a person’s social identities that either brings them a cocktail of power and/or submission.

For queer disabled folx, they have many blends of social identities that make them a big ol’ THEM to the white, cisgender, Christian folks that have been volunteering to read my book.

Not everyone like that THEMS folx, but a few do. I hope with my book, the thems of the world are exposed as US to somebody – a lot of somebodies – and eventually everyone.

Good day.

If you are a good person, hit me up in the comments. Please help me with my project. Please please please. Even if you aren’t queer, if you have chronic illness or a disability, this project can help you. This book is a traditional wedding planner for everybody – and I mean every BODY. A disabled body is an every BODY. People never realize it, but in the blink of an eye, the progression of age, anyone and everyone eventually becomes disabled. Just think of your 80 year old grandma, or how I went to athletic and active to occasionally using a mobility aid and unable to walk my dog.

A disabled body is an every BODY, so the book includes everybody.

Not Giving Up

NOT a novel

When I first shared my covers on Twitter, there seemed to be some confusion about “the brides different ability.” This discouraged me a bit about my communication skills. I think this is partially because I am keeping this project a little bit under wraps.

The Differently Abled Bride Guide is a wedding planner book for women with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Differently Abled is the PC term for those conditions, as either of those groups can define themselves as disabled, not disabled, or differently abled.

I am trying to create a one-stop wedding planning resource for women with conditions ranging from fibromyalgia to paraplegia and everything in between. This is why I have been conducting so much research. I want accurate and inoffensive information.

Yesterday, I had some discouragement. I was approached by a publisher who asked me for $20,000 dollars to publish my book.

I’ve never even spent that much on a car. That is a fancy car to me.

This came immediately after my favorite publisher rejected me. So far I have 12 rejections in a month.

I know what I am doing is risky and out of the ordinary. My friends were so encouraging. But I’ll stick to it.

Don’t give up y’all. Some day we’re all gonna change the world. We’re gonna help people.

BIG Project Reveal: The Differently Abled Bride Guide

Those of you that follow this blog closely know that I have been hinting at something big. Something huge that I’ve undertaken, a research project that I hope will change the world.

It’s called The Differently Abled Bride Guide.

I came up with The Differently Abled Bride Guide after mourning my own wedding planning experience and still grieving my diagnoses. What I wanted to do was use these two strange experiences to help other women.

In the media, the female disabled body is never portrayed, and when if it is, it is pitiful or evil. There is a lack of understanding from the outside in, and ultimately a lack of representation. More specifically, there is absolutely ZERO representation of disabled women in the bridal industry.

I decided I would write a book about this phenomenon. I’m almost there. All I’m doing is waiting for permission from the people I need it from and to get in contact with an editor.

This book I intend to go the traditionally published route after I was inspired by friends and professional book people in my circle to do so. I had originally planned a KDP book, but after I shared the idea in real life and was met with high praise, I decided to learn how traditional publishing works. As a result I am now a member of my state’s premier literary society.

It’s been a wild ride, and if you’re interested in learning more or helping out with the research, you can email me.

As always, I designed an amateur book cover using a commissioned watercolor used in the book by redlittleberry who, authors, if you need illustrations is fabulous. My book covers are always meant to be motivational for myself. I think these 4 book covers turned out pretty well. However, I could use a little sensitivity. What do you think? Offensive?
The last thing I want to do is hurt someone, so please give me feedback. Note: this book is an all-inclusive look at people with chronic illnesses and varying abilities.

National Endometriosis Awareness Month: My Story

In honor of National Endometriosis Awareness Month, I’ve decided to share my endometriosis story.

Endometriosis is a chronic illness affecting the endometrial lining of the uterus that causes it to spread throughout a woman’s body. It typically affects older women, but I am 27 and developed endometriosis at age 14.

The first time anyone could tell I had endometriosis was when I was a young high schooler. When I was 14, I bled onto the Youth Pastor’s leather car seat in a Cadillac full of boys. In my youth group I was the only girl, and I was in excruciating pain – and embarrassment. Not to mention I was the Preacher’s daughter, and Preacher’s daughters are to be perfect and not unclean.

We were on our way to a regional convention for our denomination to compete in various disciplines, from bible knowledge to puppetry, and were being quizzed on the book of Ruth in the car. Eventually we stopped at a rest stop on our way to Dallas and we saw the seat was doused in blood. The endometriosis was imminent.

My periods have always been unpredictable. This is a symptom of endometriosis. Age 14 was no different. I had previously bled through at a dentist office to be shamed by the dental hygienist for not knowing my cycle by now, to which my mother yelled at her, “Her periods are irregular!” Thankfully, we both always kept overnight maxi pads on us.

But where was my mother now? She got out of the car and noticed I was woozy, unsteady on my feet, and practically carried me to the bathroom after apologizing to the Youth Pastor, who thankfully had grown daughters. In this gross roadside bathroom stop, I screamed over the toilet as fibroids came flowing out of me. This was the first time in my life I thought I was going to die, endometriosis would claim me, and I begged mom to take me to the ER. She said no, we were on our way to a Jesus conference, and He came first. I needed to learn that.

I was sick and lightheaded the whole time I was there. We didn’t win gold in Bible Quiz. I mostly blamed myself and mom for that. What I didn’t know was that it was really endometriosis’ fault.

To my good mother’s credit, after Easter when we arrived home, she immediately took me to a Gynecologist. They ordered an ultrasound, the noninvasive way to test for endometriosis, and sitting in the lab I was afraid people would think I was pregnant as I downed glasses of water. I was as skinny as a string bean, but suffered from an eating disorder that made me feel as if I was the size of the moon. I went into the ultrasound, and I swore I could hear the technician laughing. I’m sure he wasn’t, but I was 14 and not used to the medical world that would soon become my whole life.

In two weeks, the doctor phoned us in to tell me I had endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. My records have since been lost and no one believes the endometriosis part, but I was recently re-diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome.

I do know that the endometriosis diagnosis was real because my mother was there when the doctor talked about the lining found in my ultrasound. She talks about it, and my grandmother and great-grandmother also had endometriosis.

The doctor quickly prescribed birth control pills and the endometriosis improved. However, eventually they stopped working, and I was given a Mirena IUD.

I experienced pelvic pain similar to when I first developed endometriosis, and over the course of six months learned that my body was rejecting the IUD.

I’m now on the Kyleena IUD, and once again, my endometriosis is improving. The tricky thing about endometriosis s that it is fickle – it can love you one day and hate you the next.

According to womenshealth.gov, endometriosis “may affect more than 11% of American women between 15 and 44.” 11% of American women, this is for you. May you feel less alone in your endometriosis journey.