Blog Posts

Learning to Love Yourself with Wednesday

Bianca: “You’re lucky”

Wednesday: “Do tell.”

Bianca: “You don’t care what people think of you.”

Photo taken from Netflix

I mentioned in a previous post that I don’t have much luck with guys. I actually don’t have much luck with people in general. At least that’s what I can’t get myself to stop thinking all the time. 

“That person thinks I’m weird”, I would often tell a family member. 

“Why do you think that?”, they would often ask, reminding me that what I’m think is not fact. 

“People tend to be selfish and are mostly thinking about themselves”, my therapist would always remind me.

No matter how hard I try to keep what I’m told in mind, it’s often hard for me not to think about what’s others are thinking about me. While watching “Wednesday”, what stuck out to to me was how different I am from the titular character. She genuinely doesn’t care about what people think about her. I care a bit too much about what people think about me. Some professionals who analyzed the show think Wednesday might have autism. This might be why she has so much trouble showing her emotions. I, on the other hand, have borderline personality disorder and often have trouble keeping my emotions in check.

 What really caught my attention about Wednesday, however, is that she knows she’s different and accepts that. Her viral dance sequence shows this most. She’s confident and not afraid to be herself. What I love most is that though there are some scenes when she sometimes feels insecure and afraid of being alone and eventually allows friends to have a little influence on her, none of this changes who she is at her core. Wednesday will allows be Wednesday, and through the rough patches, her friends start to accept this. They don’t try to change her. Instead, the relationship that Wednesday has with her friends is reciprocal, especially with her best friend Enid. Wednesday starts the series feeling she is better off alone, and Enid starts the series feeling insecure. The series ends with Wednesday fully accepting Enid’s friendship and Enid gaining confidence. 

Watching Wednesday really put into perspective for me how hard it can be to feel different from others, but how easy it can feel to be ok with that when you are comfortable with yourself and have people around you who accept you for who you are. I am definitely still a work in progress, but I am learning to love myself, and when people tell me they love me the way I am, I am learning to believe them. 


My Hair Journey: How I Fell in Love with my Hair

Growing up, I had a love-hate relationship with my hair. I am a woman of African descent, and people with African roots generally have what we call “kinky” or “coily” hair. I used to love when my mother would style my hair in beautiful braids, and the compliments I would get about them. However, I hated how hard it was for me to style my hair myself. My hair was unruly and difficult to deal with, or at least that’s what I thought. 

I had my hair relaxed for the first time when I was still a small child. It was for a wedding. I was still very young, but I was old enough to remember that when I looked in the mirror, I thought I never looked more beautiful. I felt more beautiful too. I also felt like my hair was much more manageable. I didn’t get another relaxer put into my hair again until my late teens, but I continued to straighten my hair with flat irons. In other words, through heat. My hair started to become very damaged from all the heat and chemicals, and I eventually decided to do a “big chop”, or cut off the damaged, relaxed parts of my hair. In the end, I was left with a bit of a buzz cut. As my hair started to grow back, I took the time to learn how to properly take care of my hair and style it. 

Many Black women around the world are forgoing the flat iron and relaxers, opting to wear our hair in its natural state instead. A natural hair movement is taking place, and many influencers and companies that sell hair care products have been benefitting from it. Many natural hairstyling videos have been popping up on YouTube to teach black women who choose to go natural how to care for their hair, as well as how to style it. Companies that have been creating haircare products geared towards black women are gaining attention. In fact, in the recent years, there has been a decline in hair relaxer sales. In light of this, some haircare companies that have been previously focused on selling hair straightening products are jumping on the natural hair movement bandwagon

The movement is not meant to discourage black women from getting relaxers, but rather to encourage each other to feel beautiful and confident regardless of how we choose to wear our hair. I believe there is a lesson every woman can take away from the natural hair movement: you are beautiful just the way you are. It doesn’t matter what our hair texture or skin color might be. We are all queens. After all, diversity is beautiful. Gone are the days when I thought of my hair as unattractive. When I cut my hair, I wasn’t sure I would want to stay natural. Then I looked in the mirror, and thought I never looked more beautiful. 

Is Turner Syndrome an Intersex Condition?

I have mentioned many times on my blog that I have Turner syndrome. Google “Intersex”, and you will see many websites list Turner syndrome as an intersex condition. However, there is a lot of debate on which conditions under the umbrella of Intersex are actually Intersex conditions. Intersex conditions have been a hot topic for a while now, so as someone with what is considered an intersex condition by some, I thought I’d add my two cents. 

First thing first, what is “intersex”? The American Psychological Association describes intersex as “a variety of conditions that lead to atypical development of physical sex characteristics…These conditions can involve abnormalities of the external genitals, internal reproductive organs, sex chromosomes, or sex-related hormones”. The term “intersex” was coined in 1917 by German geneticist Richard Goldschmidt when he noticed the phenomenon in gypsy moths while studying them. “Intersex” started being used commonly as a term for humans with certain genetic conditions in 1993 due to a research article written by American biologist Anne Fausto-Sterling.   

In her article, Fausto-Sterling states that approximately 1.7 percent babies born worldwide are intersex. American psychologist Leonard Sax responded that the number of people with intersex conditions is actually far lower than 1 percent, and shouldn’t include conditions like Turner syndrome where the person’s phenotype is clearly male or female (meaning the person looks like a typical male or female with the typical male or female genitalia). This is the reason for the intersex debate. 

In 2006, the term “Disorders of sex development” was introduced in the medical world. Medical professionals believed the term was easier to define and explain than “Intersex”. However, there is a lot of controversy over this term. Many intersex advocates believe the “Disorders of sex development” does more harm. For instance, many intersex babies undergo surgeries, often unnecessary ones that can cause permanent damage, in order to make the bodies of these babies fit what society deems a typical male or female body. Changing “Intersex” to “Disorders of sex development” medicalizes the bodies of intersex people even more. However, using “Disorders of sex development” gives room for the inclusion of conditions like Turner syndrome, because pretty much all disorders that affect sex development are under that umbrella.

So is Turner syndrome an Intersex condition? That is still up for debate. In my humble opinion though, no, it is not. People with Turner syndrome are all women born with a genetic disorder. There is generally no ambiguity on whether someone with Turner syndrome is male or female, and sex ambiguity is included in being intersex. Turner syndrome does, however, cause sex development issues, like not being able to go through puberty without medical help, making it a clear disorder of sex development. 

Hopefully this post has helped someone, and I’ll see you in the next one!

Borderline Personality Disorder: It’s ok to be a little different

Borderline personality disorder is one of the most stigmatized mental illnesses. People with the condition are considered manipulative. Getting any diagnosis can be freeing, but when someone receives a diagnosis with a stigma, that diagnosis can feel like more of a harmful label. 

The video above, however, shows that sometimes there are benefits to being a little bit different, and that’s what it means to have BPD. People with BPD are not manipulative, but simply people who experience emotions differently than others. And there is nothing wrong with being a little different. 

Disability Day of Mourning

I just found out that today is Disability Day of Mourning. It is a day to remember people with disability who were killed by their caregivers. Unfortunately, children don’t get to choose the parents they are born to. I am very fortunate that I was born to parents who love me and for fought me and my rights all throughout my childhood, and still fight for me.

My unique struggles are invisible, so fighting for me to get the support I need hasn’t been easy on my parents, but they have been by my side anyway. They have never once made feel like a burden. To all my beautiful friends with disability out there, you are beautiful. You are not a burden. To all my friends out there who are the loving caregivers of someone with a disability, you are beautiful and appreciated. 

What is Turner Syndrome: Coping with a Chronic Condition

Picture taken from Unsplash

Hey everyone! February is Turner syndrome awareness month, and March is Women’s Month. I’ve shared a little bit about my experience with being a Woman with Turner Syndrome on this blog before, but for this post I thought I’d share a little more about my experience with the condition and how I cope with it. I hope it will be helpful to someone! 

What is Turner Syndrome?

Chromosomes are one part of the body that determines sex. It is well known that a Y and X chromosome means a boy and two X chromosomes mean a girl. Turner Syndrome is when a girl is born with only one fully functioning X chromosome. The other X chromosome is either partially or fully missing. Without a second fully functioning X chromosome, a girl’s body is unable to produce the hormones she needs to develop normally. 

This can lead to a lot of complications, because not only do these hormones help girls go through puberty, they are also needed for health, especially bone health. Due to the complication that can be present in Turner Syndrome, around 10 percent of all miscarriages are caused by the condition and 99 percent of fetuses with Turner Syndrome are miscarried. Some fetuses with Turner Syndrome who manage to make it to term get diagnosed at birth or even in the womb because of complications caused by the condition. I was diagnosed when I was a teenager. That is the time when many girls with Turner Syndrome are diagnosed, because that is around the time they should be going through puberty

How I Manage my Condition 

As previously mentioned, Turner Syndrome can lead to a lot of complications. In my case, two big issues are with my thyroid and my bones. Those issues have led to fatigue. I feel tired a lot. That has become an increasingly bad problem because of the responsibilities I have. Also, I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and I’m used to working hard. However, my issue with fatigue has been forcing me to pay more attention to my limitations. I’m learning to be ok with taking extra breaks and to feel comfortable with accepting help. Needing more rest or help does not mean I am weak or any less of a person.  

Since I have a weak constitution, exercise is very important. This is an area I struggle with very much, but one activity I do enjoy that gets my blood pumping is dancing. Not only does music I love lift my spirits, it does the job of getting my body moving. I especially enjoy when I’m able to get a little alone time and I can just put my music on blast! By the time I’m done having fun, I feel like I’ve just finished a good workout! 

How do you handle dealing with a chronic condition? Do you have Turner Syndrome too? Let me know in the comments and share any tips you might have! 

Happy Valentine’s Day to Me!

Picture taken from Pixabay

I never really had much luck with guys and dating. I’ve even had the word “ugly” thrown at me several times. If you’re told something enough times, you start to believe it. 

I started believing I must be too ugly and unattractive for any guy to date me, or even want to. I continued thinking that even after becoming an adult and guys started showing interest in me. Too stuck in my low self-esteem, it’s sometimes actually hard for my to even notice when a guy is showing interest in me. My siblings always make fun of me for being a little air-headed sometimes. 

Due to my struggles with my self esteem, however, I haven’t really been interested in starting a relationship anyway recently. I’m happily single and working on self-love. I truly believe there is some truth to the saying that no one can love you better than you love yourself. People are going treat you the way you treat yourself, so treat yourself well.

I’m slowly unlearning what I’ve been told many times. I am beautiful, and dear reader, so are you. So this upcoming Valentine’s Day, especially to my single brothers and sisters out there, celebrate your love for yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day, and I’ll see you in the next post! 

Why is healthcare so expensive?

This post was inspired by Scott over at Speaking Bipolar. His blog really gives a lot insight into what it’s like to live with Bipolar disorder. You can checkout his blog and the post that inspired my blog post by clicking here

Scott’s post was about his struggle with getting proper care for for his mental illness. It made me really think about my own experience with getting medical care. I live in the United States where health insurance can be very expensive, and some people can’t afford to go to a doctor. With healthcare being so expensive, getting help for mental illnesses can be difficult. Mental health is not really considered a priority, so even with assistance with health insurance, there is no guarantee a person seeking help with a mental illness will be able to get the help they need. 

As someone who is not only dealing with mental illness but a genetic disorder as well, I happen to be very fortunate. I was born with a condition called Turner Syndrome, and it can lead to a lot of complications. In fact, one of those complications led to surgery early last year. I also get blood tests done very frequently, along with other procedures, in order for my doctors to make sure I’m not developing any complications because of my genetic disorder. Moreover, I have been taking several medications since I was 13 years old. Now I am also on medication for my mental illnesses s well, and I go to therapy several times a week. All of my medications, tests, procedures, and therapy sessions cost a lot of money. Fortunately, I am fully covered by my insurance. I honestly don’t know where I would be today without the help I’m getting to pay for all of my medical expenses.

 There honestly needs to be a better way for people to receive medical that would be fair for the healthcare providers and the patients that would allow every person to receive the care they need. What is healthcare like where you live, and what has your experience with medical care been like? Feel free to share in the comments, and I’ll see you in the next post! 

Fatal Attraction: From Movie to T.V. Series

When the movie “Fatal Attraction” was released in 1987, it was an immediate success. It grossed over $320 million worldwide against a budget of $14 million. In the U.S. alone, the movie grossed over $150 million. It was the highest grossing film of the year worldwide, and the second highest grossing movie in the U.S

Along with all the success, however, came a lot of criticism. For those who are not very familiar with the movie, it is a thriller starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. The description of the movie is as follows:

For Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas), life is good. He is on the rise at his New York law firm, is happily married to his wife, Beth (Anne Archer), and has a loving daughter. But, after a casual fling with a sultry book editor named Alex (Glenn Close), everything changes. Jilted by Dan, Alex becomes unstable, her behavior escalating from aggressive pursuit to obsessive stalking. Dan realizes that his main problem is not hiding his affair, but rather saving himself and his family”.

    There are many movies that include obsessed, unhinged women, though none seems to have had more discussions and controversy than “Fatal Attraction”. Many specialists in the mental health community believe that the character, Alex, exhibited symptoms seen in people with Borderline Personality Disorder and sympathize with her. Many also believe that the way the character was written only helped to spread stigma on the condition and mental illness over all. The actress who played the role of Alex, Glenn Close, who has a sister with bipolar disorder, has stated about her character,

Now she’s considered one of the greatest villains ever, and that to me is a mistake. I’ve never thought of her as a villain, just in distress.” 

Recently, after more than 30 years since the release of “Fatal Attraction”, it has been announced that a television series adaptation of the film is in the works. It is set to air on Paramount+, with the story now being told “through the lens of modern attitudes toward strong women, personality disorders, and coercive control“. Views on mental illnesses have definitely improved since the 1980s, however, stigma does still persist. Proof of this can unfortunately still be seen in the media. The movie “Split”, which has received backlash from those familiar with dissociative identity disorder in the mental health community, was released in 2016. Also, this year has seen over 300 mass shootings in my country, the U.S., and some blame it on mental illness. We clearly still have a long way to go when it comes to dealing with mental health stigma. I would hate for the new Fatal Attraction show to be another piece of media simply adding to it. 

What are your thoughts on this? See you in the next post.