Friday, July 5, 2019

One Thing

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 7 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

What is one thing you could start doing today to improve the quality of your life?

It was submitted by:

Probably not what anyone would think of as appropriate for 4th of July week but it's honest. 

The one thing I could do to improve my quality of life immediately is to move out of the United States.

I’m not exaggerating.

I have a chronic illness and no access to adequate or affordable insurance. I don’t have access to doctors who take my issues seriously undermining them both because I am a woman and because I am chubby. Women in this country experience so many issues in the healthcare system even when they do have a thin figure, insurance, and enough money to pay their copays. We have a higher rate of being underdiagnosed, misdiagnosed, and with harassment from healthcare workers. All of it adds up to me not at all being able to get adequate care. I need a fair healthcare system, one that isn’t rife with misogyny. I need universal healthcare. I need doctors who are actually educated on my disorder and who take the issues I face seriously. I need doctors who are educated on the new research involving weight, how weight is often out of people’s control and not remotely tied to every single health issue a woman might face. I’ve gone to the doctor for colds, literally, and had them blamed on me needing to lose weight. How is that at all the kind of healthcare system that works for people?

The United States doesn’t even rank in the top 20 when it comes to women’s equality. Pay rates, healthcare, programs… we are seriously lacking in every regard when it comes to women having an even playing field with men while our government remains dominated by men and often by women who pander to the male demographic by denying the issues that social sciences prove to exist.

Capitalism relies on extreme poverty and homelessness to function. Economic theorists have found this to be a certainty. Without people to show how terrible it can be when you don’t “work hard” people refuse to take the lowest pay for the hardest work. That's the way capitalism works. We lack the social programs that prevent these issues that other countries have. It’s not even about socialism. We can look to the Scandinavian countries to see that if the United States is hellbent on having capitalism (which I don’t think works not as it is here and perhaps not at all), it can do so with a heavy foundation of social programs that put its most vulnerable populations on better footing. I’m disabled. I cannot work with the illness I have without risking being bedridden or worse for the rest of my life. I’m barely hanging on to not being completely homebound. I need a cane to get around my house because I insisted on working when I was initially sick and have gotten worse in the 3 years since this started. Being in this country is fucking terrifying. There are no safety nets for people like me. The amount of money I would have to pay and years I would have to wait to still be denied disability is outrageous, and our disability programs are constantly being threatened. People are cut off at random. And it’s never enough for people to actually get by. If I somehow found the money to make the kind of appointments and do the testing needed to prove I qualify for disability and keep it going for the years it takes (more than 3 on average) to finally get it approved, it would take years and years of disability to finally recoup the money I shelled out for specialists and testing and scans… And in my current situation, sure it would help but it surely wouldn’t alleviate my poverty. Not here. People literally die waiting on their disability. My dad did when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Being queer in this country is equally as terrifying right now. Sure, you’ll roll your eyes and say that we can get married. What else do we want? How about protections against being fired for being gay? Those don’t exist in many states and federal protections were rolled back under Trump. How about not being denied housing because we’re gay? Not being turned away from healthcare? Not being killed LEGALLY because of gay panic defense? Being able to adopt? Being able to shop without discrimination being disguised as “religious freedom?” Not being forced into conversion therapy by bigoted parents? Or kicked out of the house and put on the streets where the country doesn’t have any sort of programs to help out? The United States doesn’t even rank in the top 15 friendliest countries for the LGBTQIA+ population, and it’s no wonder. Violence continues with hate crimes against the community especially trans women of color. Murders, attacks, fear… what kind of life is that? We can’t even hold hands in public without fearing our safety much less live our lives out and happy. It’s absolutely a MOMENT when you see a gay couple living out and loud and not looking over their shoulder or minimizing their affection. It makes you feel so hopeful and so less alone, but it’s so fucking rare that it’s only ever really okay at pride and even then we encounter protestors who would like nothing more than to eradicate us from the world. We may have come a long way from where we were in the past several decades, but we already had so much more to go before this administration, and it’s not going to get any better any time soon.

At least 5% of America identifies openly as LGBTQIA+. As many as 1 in 5 have a disability with 1 in 10 actually having a severe disability. Half the fucking country almost is female. So while this may be a harsh critique of a country you love, for some of us, it’s a matter of the life, liberty, and happiness others already get without worry. If that’s you, great. But there is so much work left to do. We’ve been browbeaten with this idea that America is the greatest country in the world without fault and without complaint, but that’s hardly true. It may feel good to think in the moment when you’re a few drinks in, fireworks exploding in the background on Independence Day, but the rest of us are exhausted. The rest of us get nauseated when we see those displays of patriotism without criticism. We were founded on questioning what’s right and moral, but that stopped a long fucking time ago, and there are a lot of times I wish I could afford to be done with it all as it was made very clear to me that even though Guthrie sang about this country belonging to us all, there are far too many red-blooded Americans who want the population to look, act, and believe a certain way or we aren’t welcome here.

I’m tired of living where I’m not wanted and couldn’t get help if I was.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado


  1. Each word of this post angered me more than the last because just a few years ago we were making strides forward in most of these issues. In just 2 years we've gone back MANY years. I do have hope that in the coming election we can change most of that. But those of us who care about ourselves and others need to get off of our asses and get out there and vote.

  2. Whoa, my prompt hit a nerve, and rightly so. Unfortunately I can't tell you to come to Switzerland. Most of the hardships you experience in your country would not be all that great here, either. Our social securities may be more generous, but I am not impressed by our medical system, and even though we do have some kind of an anti discrimination law it's great on paper but people who want to get their ways will find loopholes to exclude whomever they don't consider worthy.

    That President of your country isn't contributing to making things better, either, on the contrary. He wouldn't last one week in your shoes.

  3. A lot of food for thought but it makes me sad that people have to deal with issues like yours. Now that I'm in my 70s, I try to let things go a lot more than I used to but when I read something like this, it makes me sad for our country. All I can do is send hugs your way!

  4. This is such a pressing issue and like you I dream of moving to another country. I did get my disability but it took five years to collect a whopping $630. The reason it's so low is that they look at what you made in like the last two years...dumbasses I couldn't work all of the years it took to get it so I get the lowest possible. I think they do that on purpose. My husband has insurance at his work plus I have Medicare and still I get whopping bills it makes no sense to me. I remember living like you are and I remember being chronically stressed about bills, money etc and that just makes your illness worse. You know, I've always been a positive person but since that asshole took office I find myself so full of hate that it scares me sometimes. I hate living in the South, the Bible Belt is miserable if you don't fit the mold. What is your illness called? Mine is Fibro with something called Felty's Syndrome which is a rare form of RA that not only affects my joints but also my organs like heart and lungs. I wish I could do something to help you because it sucks to be in that situation. (Rena)