In the Midst of Chaos

WARNING:  This is not like my normal blogs, major trigger warning as I am writing this in the middle of a mixed manic episode.

Mental illness sucks, plain and simple. As I write this, I am in the middle of a mixed manic episode. My brain is everywhere and anywhere. Just focusing on getting it out is a challenge, but something I felt I needed to do. I hope that sharing the chaos that is my thoughts and emotions will help someone who may think they are the only ones who have to deal with these exhausting episodes. My head has not been right for days and I fear I will end up in the hospital to bring me back to somewhat center.

I do not know if I want to curl up in a ball and cry, find the nearest sharp object and cut my arm to shreds or just go through the house yelling and punching walls. I am typically not violent with anything but inanimate objects. I know none of this is good, but what can you do when you feel out of control? I have enough control right now to sit down and get some of this out, but I have a feeling this will not last long. I am home alone until 11 pm and it is only 530 pm, too many hours to let my lack of control take over.

I know that my recent doctor visits are the reason my emotions have spun out of control again. My first breakdown was not long after I had my unsuccessful back surgery in 2016. From then on, my medical issues have been to blame for many of my institutionalizations. Right now, I could do 100 things at a time and still need more. I am typing, watching television and have music cranked metal of course, and I still need more things to do. As I type I get even more agitated because my fingers have recently started to go numb, making it difficult to do a lot of the only things I have left to do; type, write, color, paint, all of it.

Since I mentioned medical issues, I should probably elaborate so you all can get a sense of why I feel wound up in my head. First, the failed lumbar fusion on May 15, 2016, that simply kept me from being paralyzed but did nothing for my back and leg pain, weakness and numbness, which they are now blaming on my diabetes. It started before my diabetes was diagnosed so I am sure my back is the root cause. I recently had MRIs, CT scans, and x rays of my entire spine only to be told by my neurosurgeon, “there is nothing we can do to help, your last chance is pain management.” Been there done that and really do not want a nerve stimulator implanted in my side and spine. However, it may be an absolute last resort. I have degenerative back issues, which means all of this will only get worse. Fucking wonderful.

I lost a toe, not to diabetes, but to the wonderful MRSA, I have colonized in my system. I had a bone spur making a hole in the bottom of my toe and seven surgeries later, I am now missing the big toe on my right foot. I used to love wearing flip-flops, well fuck that. Over a period of five months, my surgeon tried to save my toe, I even spent five weeks in a nursing home on IV antibiotics and getting physical therapy to try to keep my damn toe and October 29, 2017, I lose it anyway. At least I dressed it up with a funny tattoo. I then required surgery to remove large fibromas from my other foot and spent six weeks off it only to break my ankle the week after I started walking on it again. It never healed right so I am supposed to wear a brace, which of course I do not because I hate it. So I walk funny because of the missing toe, huge scar on the bottom of my foot and the fucked up ankle, oh wait, add in the numbness to all that. I also have cervical spine problems that affect my balance, so I stumble around like a drunk most of the time and fall frequently. Spent two weeks institutionalized after the toe was lopped off.

Shit, I do not even know where to go next. Maybe my diabetes, which is continuing to get worse, thanks to one of my psych meds. I already take five pills a day and insulin for it so it will be interesting to decide what they are going to do to fix it this time. More pills? More insulin? Hell, I take 15 pills at a time, what is a few more. I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, nerve problems, fibromyalgia, diabetes, bladder issues, mixed manic bipolar 1, depression, anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD. That is too much shit and too many meds. I am not fond of people, do not do crowds, traffic, or freeways, and really do not leave the house much. I leave to go to the doctor and shop, that about sums it up. I bitched about spending $54 on shoes, yet they should last forever for as little as I will wear them.

It took over five years to finally diagnose my mental illness correctly and put me on meds that help somewhat. Even now, they do not work when my brain goes into chaos mode as it is now. As much as this is helping, I cannot make this a 20-page dissertation just to keep my hands busy for the next six hours.

I do not want sympathy at all, hell no. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts and why my brain is so chemically imbalanced and that I am in a state of losing complete control. I want other people that go through this to understand they are not alone and asking for help does not mean you failed. Knowing when to ask for help is half the battle I think. Right now I am asking for help and I may go away for a week or two, but I know when I come out I will be able to center myself and tame the chaos once again…

When a Maxi Pad is a Luxury

I read an article posted in a Facebook group recently and felt compelled to do a little research on the subject. As you may have figured out from the title, the topic was feminine hygiene products. Even though the last time I bought a box of tampons was 2003, I myself took for granted how easy it is to just go to a store, spend a few dollars, and walk out with a box of pads or tampons if someone I know needed them. Anyone can walk in a store and buy them, can they not? The answer is no. For women who are incarcerated, homeless, or impoverished or in a mental facility, these items may not be available at all. Now imagine being a woman and not have access to feminine hygiene products each month. What you are imagining is a reality for too many women in this country and it should not be.

Feminine Hygiene Products during Incarceration

In Europe, access to feminine hygiene products is a basic human right but this is not the case in the United States. In 2017, legislation was passed to provide free menstrual products to women in prison. That is fine but the problem is, most prisons do not provide these products or charge for them and the rules are not being enforced. Another problem is women only account for five percent of Federal prisoners; the other 95 percent are in state and local jails where the legislation does not even apply. These women may or not have any access to feminine hygiene products at all or only a limited number, at a cost, depending on the number of female prisoners on any given day.

Only four states and New York City have legislation that provides feminine hygiene products to women a no charge. For women in the other 46 states, access to these products varies from being limited to being available at a cost to being given out at the discretion of prison guards. Local jails obviously have their own issues, and in most cases is probably having no products available at all.

The health risks for women without access to proper feminine hygiene products can be deadly. If women are forced to improvise by using toilet paper for other items for tampons or items other than toilet paper to wipe themselves can lead to irritated tissues that can open up to bacterial infections. Women without access to proper products are also susceptible to potentially lethal problems such as sepsis and toxic shock.

Feminine Hygiene amongst the Homeless and Poor

Periods can be uncomfortable enough, but for homeless women and poor women who do not have access to menstrual products, that time of the month is even worse. Imagine having to use a washcloth, sock or used pad instead of having clean, proper feminine hygiene items. While the average cost for sanitary products is $7 per month, there are those that must use the $7 to feed their family, not buy pads, or tampons. When poor or homeless teenage girls do not have these items, they may not be able to go to school for a week, which can lead to a continuation of the cycle of poverty. Women may have to miss work, which puts a further strain on their economic situation.

Most homeless shelters have limited budgets and in most cases, feminine hygiene products are just a small part, if any, of this budget. If a homeless shelter is lucky enough, they receive donations of these products from businesses or individuals who understand how important these items are. Recently, I contacted a local women’s shelter to ask if I could do a feminine product drive for them and they actually asked if I could wait a few months because they actually did not have enough room for more. It would be nice if every homeless shelter had this problem.

Feminine Hygiene in Mental Health Facilities

While many mental health units are in or attached to hospitals, that does not mean they have access to feminine products like those that the hospital itself does. Most are closed units that have their own allocation of supplies and menstrual products never seem to be high on the list. I remember many women asking for products and being told it was all they were allowed. They also complained about the quality of the products, as more were needed than better ones. If you are lucky enough to be in a private hospital, this usually is not the case. The Mighty author Juliette Virzi even listed feminine products as one of 13 Gift Ideas for a Friend Who’s in the Psychiatric Hospital in October of 2017.

After reading the article and doing some research, this is a much bigger issue than people would think. Feminine hygiene is one of those things you do not think about unless you need of these products, or find women are mistreated when it comes to them. The responses from some men to women not receiving free products in prison were appalling. Sorry, but men control their bodily fluids. They do not look like they are dying with blood everywhere. (Well let us hope not.) Maybe this is why some men have no concept what it is like to be sick, miserable, and bleeding everywhere for days. This withholding of feminine products just demeans women, even more, leaving them at the mercy of others and unfortunately many without any mercy to give.

DILLIGAF

For those of you unfamiliar with DILLIGAF, it means “do I look like I give a fuck”. For me, this is how I feel about many things, especially when it comes from misinformed vermin that simply want to be difficult. I try to be somewhat smarter than the average person, but it seems more and more people just simply want to embrace being ignorant, or stupid, whichever fits the situation. I know this is not going to be a well-liked piece, but to refer to my title, DILLIGAF?

Being a Satanist, I think the DILLIGAF attitude comes from the pure ignorance and hate from outsiders. Part of being a Satanist is embracing being a loner and simply being a rebel. That all lends itself to not giving a fuck right there. There is so much out there about Satanism, yet people still hang on to the Hollywood stereotypes thinking we are all descendants of Richard Ramirez because he drew a pentagram on his hand. They think we spend our weekends carrying out some LaVeyesque sideshow where naked women run free and the neighbor’s kid is roasting slowly on a bed of carrots and leeks in the oven. I am honestly embarrassed by many of the ritual images people Google and end up believing that is what Satanism is.

I am just going to put this out there and everyone can take it for what it is worth. I am NOT a fan of the Church of Satan or Anton LaVey and am slowly losing any admiration I have for The Satanic Temple. The Church of Satan is old school, Anton LaVey is old school, and this is 2019, get your head out of your ass and stop swinging from his nuts and following The Satanic Bible like Christians follow the Holy Bible. The old days of shock and awe are over with. Stop being elitist twats and come down from your ivory towers and embrace what Satanism really is. Satanism is maintaining individuality while still being a contributing member to society and your community. (Sips Coke loaded with Grenadine even though I am diabetic, well you know what I say…)

The Satanic Temple has developed a modern, cohesive list of tenets that are easy to embrace by any Satanist. However, that is where my love affair with them ends. While I agree to the separation of church and state, programs like After School Satan are not beating them, they are joining the religious sect that has these religious afterschool clubs. It turns into they did it and they did it, so it is okay. How about petitioning the school boards instead to remove these programs because they clearly violate the constitution as to religion in schools. Many spectacles that TST perform in the name of change can be done much less like a sideshow and more like grown adults trying to create change. I for one am happy to see that Jex Blakemore left the organization and is fighting the good fight against unconstitutional abortion laws. Maybe Lucien Graves should look at what she is doing and stop staging B-movie-like protests that do nothing but make Satanists look like fools.

While I am just putting it all out there, I might as well touch on the bitches, the “real Satanists” as they call themselves. I am frankly tired of hearing, “You are not a ‘real’ Satanist because you do not do this or that”. Being a Satanist is being an individual, which means I do what the fuck I want. If I want to open a soup kitchen for the homeless or have a feminine hygiene drive for the local women’s shelter or simply donate money to another Satanist in need, that is what I am going to fucking do. I care about my community and the people in it. That by no means is indicative of me being a sheep, it is just being a caring human being with some empathy and common sense. I have been the recipient of help from the Satanic community and now that I can, it is time to pay it forward when I can. Again, I do what I want and well, you know.

With all this being said, I still give a shit about people. Just because I do not like your brand of Satanism, whether it be atheistic or theistic, LaVeyan or TST, I am still going to treat you like a human being. I love the fact that the United Aspects of Satan does not experience all this grief and strife. Members of UAoS are some of the most laid back, down to earth people who have great ideas and work as a community. I do not know if it is the vetting done by Damien Ba’al or just the nature of the organization, but it has a much different feel than CoS or TST, which I want nothing to do with. I even get along with Christians if they are not crazy, fundie, Westboro Baptist type Christians. I have a foodie group on Facebook called C.A.S.T in the Kitchen that is a mix of all religions and non-religions and it is great. I do not take issue with any person until they take issue with me and once you do you can as DILLIGAF, and the answer will be fuck no! Oh and for those that do not like Ghost, you can kiss my fat ass, too! 😊

The Baphomet Principle: Self-motivation balanced with compassion and reason, in all things. ~ UAoS, Damien Ba’al

satanist in pink

Do Your Homework!


The Plague of Fake News

Facebook can be a wealth of information when the information is accurate. I remember my college professor in my Honors English II class telling us almost daily about reliable sources. Even today I can remember most of the criteria needed to determine if the information is coming from a reliable source. Granted, this was a college class and not everyone has had a college level English class, some of it is just common sense. Some people do not have common sense either, but that is a whole new blog entirely. Figuring out if the information is relevant and true only requires a simple task, do your homework!

Determining the validity of the information is simple. Google is your best friend when it comes to doing your homework. It also takes a little common sense that can go a long way when it comes to figuring out if you should believe what you are reading. There are also a number of websites that offer information on sources, rating them on reliability. Ask yourself is the source recent, is it written by an expert in the subject matter, is it biased, meaning, does the writer have a stake in the subject matter or are they trying to promote their personal ideas or agenda? In other words, if you are researching local news, is the source from that locality and is it an unbiased general news website. For example, a shooting occurs in Cleveland, Ohio. If you are researching the facts you want to consult two or three Cleveland news websites, not an anti-gun website based in California. The most common issues I see are with religious issues that only cite religious websites to provide information for their argument.

Unfortunately, those who proclaim themselves as “experts” on Facebook and have large followings are some of the biggest offenders when it comes to spreading fake news. One huge offender that I follow is Tina Griffin, Counterculture Mom.  She has a following of just over 3,500 people, most of which who are devout Christians that think anything or anyone non-Christian is an abomination. She claims to be a “Hollywood insider” yet continues to spread propaganda about Satanism and the Illuminati. She also has a bad habit of sharing old news from biased sources which make all her followers’ foam at the mouth waiting to pounce on the next non-believer. From her hatred of The Satanic Temple to state abortion laws, she single-handedly finds a way to make everything shine a light on her as the hero. Taking just a few minutes to look at her sources and Google some information typically locates more recent and less biased information and she is typically as wrong as a pantsuit on a cat.

Religion is one of the subjects I seem to find the fakest news being spread about. Christians follow their sources, like CBN and other Christian news outlets like they are the gospel themselves. Satanists fall into this rut at times but in most cases, as we are more apt to find additional information about everything, we will Google a few more sources before we put the truth stamp on anything posted on Facebook. I also find the typical citizen takes Facebook posts at face value as well, only those with common sense to know that something just does not sound right, will do their homework and find out if what has been posted it worth agreeing with or debating. Unfortunately, I think much of the time it is going to be something that requires debate.

Facebook debate groups are another place where fake news is cited entirely too much. For example, I admin a Christian versus Atheist group where fake news is all the rage. (Yes, they know I am a Satanist and an atheist, I heard the gasps from here.) Many debates involve scientific information that is cited from very unreliable sources. When it comes to medicine or science, journals are always the best sources of reliable information. Pointing this out typically leads to an additional argument unrelated to the debate topic at hand. Journals are the most reliable when it comes to medicine and science because many are peer-reviewed, meaning that several experts in the field agree that the information is sound and correct. These however can be hard to locate in regular Google searches, so something like Google Scholar, which many people are unaware of, are a good place to look. As far as sources for religion, finding sources that are not biased are difficult, but they can be found and are more accurate with their information. Again, it all comes down to common sense and taking a few extra minutes to do your homework.

Why is it important to do your homework? It is important because it not only educates you but helps you put a stop to the propaganda that fake news propagates and spreads. Whether they act like it or not, people like to learn, some more than others, but most appreciate a learning opportunity no matter what their age, culture or religion may be. Facebook is fake news. You can post anything you want and if you believe it is the gospel so be it, but just remember you are not only fooling others, but you are fooling yourself. There is a lot to be said for learning and with the current dumbing down of society, wouldn’t you rather be amongst the smarter members?

Special props to Edward Stokes III who is also a Do Your Homework! supporter.

satanist in pink

The Satanist in Pink

Although pink is not one of my favorite colors, I felt it be the best way to describe being a Satanic woman. To outsiders, saying one is a Satanist more than likely conjures up visions of witches dancing around a cauldron on brooms, cackling and spreading curses over the townsfolk. These are just more items in the long list of misconceptions and Hollywood propaganda that has been attached to Satanism. While Satanists do not set out to be accepted by outsiders, it is nice to be able to have pride in who you are without people coming at you with torches and pitchforks.

Anton LaVey organized Satanism and rolled it out to the public with his own unique style. LaVey had some great ideas but should have stopped with The Satanic Bible. Many Satanists, much to the dismay of devout LaVeyans, do not pay much attention to the “magic” portion of TSB. He could have called it anything but choosing to call it magic makes the skeptic Satanist pass it by. He could have left it at rituals and ceremonies and maybe the skeptics would be more interested. It all boils down to things that your typical Satanist would refer to as rituals also or to the rest of us, simply meditation. Meditation is a wonderful way to re-center oneself, especially if anxiety or stress is high.

Back in LaVey’s heyday, he did a fairly good job of hiding his misogyny. He didn’t, however, hide the fact he viewed women as objects. All one must do is look at the pics of naked women displayed on his altars and see that women were used as objects. With LaVey’s history as a circus performer, you can almost see him dressed in a tuxedo barking the highlights of the “Altar Lady”. It is not at all flattering to women if you ask me. You never saw any naked men up there now, did you? Now that would show some equality, or just do not put any naked people on an altar and just focus on the substance of Satanism instead of the pomp and circumstance.

LaVey completely went off the edge when he wrote “The Satanic Witch.” It should be a manual for misogynists. His quotes are so offensive that nearly every woman Satanist I have encountered agrees that it is absolute garbage. Women struggle for equality in Satanism and here comes Anton with his flaming arrow to shoot that all down. Now I am not saying that all LaVeyan’s have embraced the ideas of “The Satanic Witch”, but if they follow LaVey like they are a Christian and he is a god, they believe women should be in the kitchen baking cookies and not asserting themselves in the Satanic community.

I have so much appreciation for those in the Satanic community whose organizations have women in positions of power, for lack of a better word. These organizations give women the opportunity to invoke their own unique ideas and experiences for any number of things. Satanic women are unique in that there is still not a lot of us comparatively. I am not sure if it is harder for women to openly admit to being a Satanist, which is understandable as the Abrahamic religions look down on women as well. If they are raised in a religious household, I could understand how hard it would be to not only voice their opinion but voice the fact that they are Satanists.

I think I am in the minority as I am openly, and very boldly, a Satanist. I hid it for most of my life, as of course there is a stigma attached that some just do not want to have to educate people about. Once I finally decided to openly admit I was a Satanist there is no stopping me. This is how the Satanist in Pink was born. There are not a lot of resources for women when it comes to Satanism, and I want to change that. I want to be able to provide the information and knowledge to help Satanic women be openly Satanic women without fear of ridicule or worse yet, deal with the misogyny that has existed since the first organization of Satanism by LaVey in the late 1960s. I want all women to be proud Satanists like I am and have the Satanic pride and nothing to hide.

satanist in pink

From Edgelords to Emos…

As far as Satanism goes, you can find a variety of groups on Facebook ranging from the edgelords and emos to legitimate groups that share ideas, philosophies and the take on the latest goings-on in the world. Satanism is not about gory pictures, tasteless pornography or images of trampish nuns holding a Holy Bible covered in ejaculate. For those of us that try so hard to distance themselves from this childish shit, it makes seeing these types of posts even more frustrating. While I am not a fan of the ideals of theistic Satanism, I would rather see someone going on about praying to father Satan than some overly Googled image of a burning church with a couple of Hot Topic shoppers standing in awe like cavemen when they first discovered they could burn things. I know to some I may seem like I am trying to act like I am better than these emos and edgelords and the truth is, I am a better representation of a Satanist.

What is a better representation of a Satanist? A better representation is a Satanist that stands true to be an individual and not follow the image Hollywood propaganda has put forth. The problem with being a Satanist is that just mentioning the word gives the average person a vision of a group of people dressed in black robes dancing around a fire roasting one of the neighborhood children. While it does not matter if people accept Satanism, it is much more conducive to start a truthful friendship or relationship with someone without them thinking you are going to sacrifice the family dog. They do not have to like what I am, but I want them to know what I am not, and that is a sex-crazed, perverted, psycho/sociopath. I have been lucky thus far in that those surrounding me have accepted what I am and treat me as they would any other person, even if they do not agree with what I believe.

I believe Satanists are unique in that they have found a way to maintain their individualism while still being able to socialize with other Satanists and share common denominators. The current state of elitism hanging over both the Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple is frustrating. While I understand that CoS is not about activism or political matters and The Satanic Temple is all about them, there is still the common denominator that they are all atheistic Satanists. I myself am not all about the “in your face” activism, but I do believe that in order to make a difference and embrace the Baphomet Principle (self-motivation balanced with compassion and reason, in all things), one must try to contribute to the betterment of society even if it is from behind the scenes or an anonymous gesture. We should also look to help our Satanic community members when we can, physically, mentally or emotionally. Helping the outside community should also be admirable if it is not done for the prestige it may hold.

Like many Satanists, my first taste of Satanism came from The Satanic Bible. However, I was never about the magic and ceremony that LaVey promoted being the showman that he was. To me, it smacks too much of being like a Christian church that everyone dresses up and repeats the same words just to make a spectacle of it all. Being a full-blown skeptic, the idea of magic also never appealed to me much. While LaVey defines magic as “the change in situations or events in accordance with one’s will, which would using normally accepted methods, be unchangeable,” I do not see any situation changing with the addition of “magic” to one’s own will. The strength of one’s will is what changes situations and events, not some magic conjured up in someone’s head. The idea of magic also makes it seem like Satanists have some supernatural powers, like witches supposedly do, which I want nothing to do with. My skepticism runs deep. Show me a picture or it did not happen or does not exist.

Being a “Ba’alean” Satanist is what fits me perfectly. I do not want magic, I do not want to dress up in capes and have some magic ceremony, I do not want to treat other Satanists like I am “real Satanist”, cringe, and they are not. You can be an individual yet respect the path of Satanism of others even when it is different from yours. You can agree to disagree, but far too many times, this does not happen. CoS will revoke your membership if they find out you are a TST member, what kind of shit is that? Many Satanists I know personally have embraced ideas and ideals from both camps. I do not see any issue drawing from both and even representing a third. Damien Ba’al and the United Aspects of Satan is a beautiful example of being able to blend different ideas and ideals and produce a cohesive flavor of Satanism that fits people who are accepting of others, not out to play the “real Satanist” game. The Baphomet Principle, mentioned earlier, is simple yet all-encompassing and provides a Ba’alean Satanist with a platform to evolve from.

This has all been building up with me and finally overflowed after joining a Facebook group that seems to feature 99 percent emos and edgelords without an intelligent conversation to be had. I understand people can do what they want with their groups, but it frustrates me that people in the group are in other legitimate groups that I own or admin. It makes me wonder if these are “two-faced” Satanists that put up a front as to not get kicked out of a group but really fall into the emo and edgelord category. You see them posting semen-coated nuns in one group and then liking intelligent posts in another group. I guess I am just more involved in my Satanism than to go promote the image that fits every Hollywood stereotype of a Satanist one can think of. I may also sound petty, but I know how hard I work to portray what I think a Satanist should be only to have some mindless fool go posting pics of burning crosses, churches, and Bibles. Maybe I just take my path of Satanism too seriously, or do I?

satanist in pink