The Speech (Trigger warning)

What is below lies a trigger filled attempt at a speech. I am going to give a speech about Rape. I have considered titles which are wholly inappropriate, filled with bravado, and would be more triggering and devalue my own experiences, such as “Rape, it’s What’s For Dinner.” Instead, I think the title may just be, “Rape.” My goal with this speech is to educate law enforcement officials and others about the facts of being raped. I also want to use this speech to reach out to survivors and victims, so that they can begin to heal. I think at this time my updating speed for the blog will be once a week.

I also want each of you to know I could not do this without knowing I have support from my readers. I do, and therefore I know I have a safe place to write. Thank you for that. Between paragraphs I am checking the spam folder on comments, I find it a bit frightening that all of them are for Viagra and Vibrators. Those comments didn’t start piling in until I began to write about rape. I am blessed to have a good spam filter, but, that is a terrifying association.

“Rape”

Rape is often used in the media for drama, there to add tension. The Fear of rape is something that most people have felt at one time or another. Rape can be defined in many different ways. There is date rape, statuatory rape, and then the simple category of rape. The words seem simple, yet, there is a strong reaction to each category. Some people are blamed for their rape, some are told they do not matter, and others manage to fight for prosecution. All of the victims of rape are simply that, victims. Rape could be classified as a hate crime.

What makes a person rape? Most rapists know their victim. The rapists get in close, they are trusted, and often it is an act of domination. It is an act of power. I have been raped. What power does a small child have? I do not know. Perhaps it was the power of life. My biological father was the first person to rape me. He brutalized my body, he tore me to pieces, and then he left me fearing that no one would believe me. My mind suppressed the memories of the worst attacks in order to survive. For years, I dealt with a monster in my bed. I would have rather had the monster under my bed, a figment of my imagination. I did not have the luxury of unfounded fears as a child.

In my journey for healing I began to remember, and due to the law at the time I could still prosecute him. I went to the police. I discovered the horror of being devalued. It is important to support victims of rape, instead of turning them away. The then Albuquerque District Attorney told me, “Your case is just not compelling enough. It won’t matter no one will care that you were raped.” Compelling enough? I still do not understand his choice of words or actions. Why does a case need to be compelling? Justice was lost that day. I was left with the horrible realization that he didn’t care enough about me to do anything. I cried for weeks, for I had wanted to protect other people from my father. I didn’t think he would stop just because I grew up.

I was silent for years after that about being raped. The years of silence festered in my heart. I took the blame onto myself. I presumed I deserved it, because why else would no one else care? It wasn’t until I reached adulthood and began to study law that I understood. My case wasn’t one that would get him political attention. My rape wasn’t important enough to him because he had no basis for what damage could be done. If I had been his sister or mother, he would’ve been enraged. A small and defenseless teenager? He could do as he wished with my rights. I had no way to fight him. I decided then that I wanted to become a lawyer advocating for children, especially those who were sexually abused. Although that has yet to happen, it is still amid my goals.

Another facet of rape came into my awareness as I was forced to confront disability. Bodies that are not as physically able or minds that are not cognizant of the world around them are more likely to be raped with less action comitted to the effort. I have been lucky as a woman with a disability, in that I can still defend myself. I had a “friend” try and rape me a few years ago. I was vulnerable, hurting, and had just found out my back was broken. He made excuses after the attempt. It was only through knowledge that I protected myself. I retained the use of my arms and used the bits of martial arts I could still perform to keep him back. He still hurt me, but, the violation of my body was prevented.

In any country people with disabilities are more likely to be raped. Many people believe the myth that a person with a disability cannot be devirginized, and as the myths pervade about disability and sexually transmitted diseases this leads to thousands of people becoming infected. I have run into the police even locally refusing to enforce any laws that protect my human rights, as a disabled person. They do not listen, and women without disabilities have to fight just as hard to have validation legally. Doing so just after a brutal attack is not just difficult. It is as impossible a task as Climbing Everest.

At the risk of triggering memories for any persons who have been raped I am going to try and describe the emotions involved in being raped. Helplessness. You cannot stop them, you are not strong enough, fear. Are you going to die? There is pain, emotional and physical. The sense of violation doesn’t wash off, even if the evidence of the rape can. You can never wash away the feeling of fingers, hands, and other parts of your rapist entering you. Time might dull that sensation but, the knowledge that you could not stop someone from entering your body is always there. It haunts you, it chases you. Empty rooms, dark nights, and hallways all become places where you might think you hear their voice, or a breathy little laugh that sounds like your assailant. It becomes harder to function, harder to go out. Sometimes it is impossible to stay inside. You want to flee. You want to scream. Some of the victims of rape do. Usually this ends with a brutal beating. Some are too afraid to make sound, and are left to wonder, if I had only screamed would I be saved.

Forever, you carry the burden of wondering what could have prevented this. Some, who know their attackers may not press charges out of fear for their lives. They are left knowing that their rapist is right there, able to harm them again and again if they so desire. Everyday activities become moments where you fear, where you must protect yourself. Even when you don’t know how.

If you are able to try and get police help you must relieve at least a few times the assault, with as much detail as possible. You must allow a stranger to see if they can find evidence inside of your body. You must also wait. What if they do not agree you were raped? This happens often. The police don’t bother with a rape kit, or they decide a person is unrapable. “You are too ugly to be raped.” This sentence is used to justify a denial of justice, to justify mocking a victim, and to justify the excuse that fewer people are raped than the statistics say.

The famed statistic states that one in four women is raped or faces an attempted assault. This might be accurate but with rape there is a huge gap in information. There are no accurate statistics for rape of the disabled, the rape of men, and the rape of women. These statistics try to compensate for those who do not speak up, those who cannot speak up, and yet without actual numbers they fail the victims and potential victims in many ways. The room for error leaves room for disbelief.

The second person who raped me was also someone I knew. I was in Elementary school and this boy decided that he needed to prove to me I was worthless. It didn’t matter that I had no faith in my self or my right to exist. It didn’t matter that we were friends. He pulled a gun out at his fathers house and held it to my head while using my body. I did not handle this well. I was positive no one would believe me. My mother didn’t, I did try to tell her. I had a history of behavioral issues that directly stemmed from the abuses I dealt with as a child. I took my own revenge. I was the one who was punished. I broke the windows in his parents cars, his house, and then I beat him with a metal pole. This course of action landed me in juvenile detention. He never was punished legally. I paid for my crime and his.

I am not finished healing from the experience of rape, but I am sharing with you the facts that I know. If a woman comes forward saying she is raped, she needs the benefit of the doubt. The rape culture in the United States teaches us that she must have deserved it somehow, that ugly women do not get raped, and it teaches us to shame the victim. The media perpetrates this, and despite the best efforts of parents, teachers, and even some of their peers, children do absorb these subconscious lessons.

Rape is a very real crime. It is painful, and it can change the way the victims of rape see the world. Many develope Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, their minds taking triggers from even a smell, and plunging them back into the memories of rape. Many choose to push people away, becoming angry. Some decide they deserved it and throw themselves into dangerous behaviors to try and not feel their pain anymore. Every victim of rape is effected. There is no set response to rape. Some victims may be quiet, appearing calm, others may scream and rage, and still many more may choose actions that include suicide.

If you or someone you know has been raped, or you suspect that a child is being abused please support them and assit them in contacting the police and the local rape crisis center.

At this point I will have my Person hand out little cards with the local crisis numbers listed on it. I do want feedback. I will rewrite this a few times, publicly too. I lost the spark part way through due to my cat jumping on me and spilling juice everywhere. He also deleted a page of vital statistics so I am off to find them.

Nightmares

I haven’t had nightmares since my father died. I didn’t notice they were gone at first, because I tend to only have nightmares when I am tired or when I am stressed. Yesterday I was tired and stressed. I curled up to sleep, taking the time to play some music for William so he would sleep and allowing Sprite to lay sprawled over my hips, which pins me in that position until she moves. This is comforting to me. I drifted off into the twilight that comes before sleep and felt the slight pang of fear, wondering what my dreams would bring.

I remember most of my dreams in vivid detail, and last night I simply dreamed of Super Heroes without villains. They had nothing to do and it was a strange mix of Batman and Hal Jordan from the DC universe sipping tea and staring at one another. There were no words, but it appears that the heroes who inhabited my dreams, fighting off the dark monsters have won. I think it was pomegranate tea.

I remember the smells, and as I crept through what my brain deemed Wayne Manor I found only happy things. It was strange, and when I woke, after a 12 hour dead to the world sleep my first thought was, “Huh… I wonder what that was about.” What does it mean when your heroes run out of villains?

After some rumination I decided my brain is well aware of my ability to fend for myself. The one threat that I could not cope with due to the fear, the flashbacks, and the training from infanthood, is gone. My brain embraced this. One of the truest tests of this is finding silence, nothing but happiness even with the Batman in my brain.

Yesterday I ran into people from the last four years, and I found myself frustrated by the repercussions of those roommates. The credit being taken for my work had an effect, and left me aching a bit. The happiness however, at the true friends that I still have was overreaching.

I went to an SCA event for the College of Blaiddwyn, and I pillaged. My medieval persona (who I dress up as) is a norse female who happens to love Pillaging. I start with a fellow viking, a specific individual and then pillage the rest in my own shallow representation of history. I told stories as well in a competition. It was beautiful, it was fun, and I came home with a sense of satisfaction that I only obtain in the SCA. I missed it.

I will upload videos of my stories and some pictures for you all to check out soon. You can appreciate the awesomeness of my hobby horse on the scooter, I named him Wilbur. I found bits of myself i thought were gone forever. Perhaps it was this wholeness that allowed Batman to take his tea. I wonder if he uses cream and sugar.

With fulfillment comes peace. I forgot who said that. Perhaps it was my Sensei, but, I was fulfilled in a thousand ways with in the last few weeks. A lot of that fulfillment is from writing this blog. Though I may become a more sporadic poster, I am alive.

I look forward to telling you of my adventures with the two young women who are marrying one another, with in the SCA, and as I begin to persue the only job I really know how to do in a classic profession (Public Speaking). I specify in a classic profession as I can do many things, and always have layered my life with the things that please me.

Now for the first time in my life all I choose to do is for myself, or my person. For the first time in my life it is mine and mine alone. Even with a commitment to share my life with people I love, it is my choice. When I started this blog a month and a half ago it was at the start of this adventure. It has just begun but in that short time I have come so far, and i am bringing you all with me.

I can’t do this alone, yet, it is for me that I act. I haven’t felt such power since I started dancing. Dance, sing, and find what gives you this strong sense of peace and joy. Change what needs to be changed for the better, and love yourself. A lot of the private correspondence from this blog comes from people in need of love. The best person to find that love with is yourself. I know it is a cliche, yet it is cliched because it is true.

I also offer you something that my neighbor and Sensei taught me. It comes from the Buddhist tradition. He said, “The strongest Love is Wishing love.” What is wishing love? “Wishing love is the love in your heart that comes with each breath. The joy you feel for life, and the love for anyone. I feel wishing love for you. I feel wishing love for my wife. Wishing love is the love for all people and living things. I even feel wishing love for the people who made me cry.” Why? Why love? “Love is powerful, Little Lotus. Love can help you survive anything. When you hurt in here.” His hand on my heart,”Remember that I love you.” He kissed my forehead and sent me home. I wondered then if I could feel wishing love.

I feel wishing love. Remember, when you are afraid, I love you. When you are alone, I love you. I love everyone in this world. I loved even my father with Wishing Love. I will never forget the pain, but I will also never forget the first moment of love. I will never forget the strange sensation in my heart. It felt as if I could do anything. It still does and I can. So can you.

Wishing Love-
I will cry for you
I will live for you
I will laugh with you
I will love you.
I wish you love
I give you love
Wishing Love
Potent Love.
I wish you life.
I wish you joy.
I wish you mercy.
I wish you peace.
I wish you guidance.
May you find those who can lead you in the path of life, until you can lead another.

I live!

I hope you all can forgive my silence. Here is a quick rundown of why my blogging may become a bit more sporadic. I will try to not be so lack luster in my posting, and I have stories to tell!

1. I am starting a public speaking business. I will try to travel and blog, though until I get a laptop that might not happen. I will try to use the scheduler on WordPress, if I can figure out how to make it actually post.

2. As an ordained interfaith minister at times I perform weddings. I like to assist with the planning, networking resources, and it is another time consuming affair, also at times with travel involved. I am currently in the process of helping plan a huge wedding with in three months.

3. I might have cancer. This year I am getting a double cancer scare. I have posted before about the annual cancer scare. This time my doctors think I have both skin cancer and uterine cancer. I don’t think I have either but we are doing biopsies (which left me incapacitated for three days) and tests just to be safe.

4. I am trying to keep my commitments as well. I am helping to start a new Toastmasters Club at both the local University and one at the other end of town. I am also going to be active in my regular two clubs.

This is all between writing my novel, on the blog, working on my art and I will also be crafting things to sell at craft shows and as special commissions. A lot of this occurs around wedding time. (Feel free to book me as a minister, I can legally marry you in most states and as an interfaith minister am able to work with many faiths. I also perform commitment ceremonies for those who cannot legally marry their life partners in most of the US at this time.)

I will continue my activism as well. It never ends, and although I am tired when writing this, I still need to wash my face to remove the eyeliner Day of Silence writing from the protest, I am exhausted but content. I will try to write tomorrow, and due to the incliment weather might just have more time.

It is spring and SNOWING!

Showtunes

William Shakespurr is full of surprises. Until last night I haven’t had a good night’s sleep without locking him out of the bedroom and curling up with Sprite and Sprite alone. He stayed last night due to a discovery made in the morning.

I had my Person hand me my antique music box. It is shaped like a grand piano, though the lid is missing now. I wound it up, pulled the wire and a tinkling tune began to play. The Impossible Dream from Don Quixote. You will find that is a theme I listen to often, and have for most of my life.

William came running in to the room and had to investigate the sound. He was quiet, as he usually is but sniffed it. The music stopped and he looked disappointed. His ears drooped and he lowered himself to try and figure it out. I wound up the box again and set it in the same spot.

This time he put one ear against the glass where the music is created. He switched ears as the box wound down again. On the third wind he decided to lay on it, seeing if that would keep it going or claiming it. The music stopped, as the little wire that used to go up and down with the piano lid was pressed in by his body. He got up, and it started again. He did not lay on it a second time but instead put his nose to the glass staring inside. I had to give it another wind and this time he seemed frustrated.

He flipped the box on it’s side, using one paw to keep it from falling over fully and then tried to lift the box with his mouth. It was too heavy for him, so he tried to drag it. He wanted to take it away. At this time I was curious as to why other music didn’t effect him this way. The not so savage beast was tamed by … Showtunes?

Turning to the computer I pulled up a recording of the Impossible dream. He laid down and let me hide the music box in my purse, as I needed it for the day. He was just as happy. It was a sign! I currently am paying way too much for TV and therefore have access to an entire TV station for showtunes. I put that on the TV after the song on the computer was through and to the tune Hello Dolly discovered he was relaxing, calm, and content.

I left to go and watch a speech, and when I came in both he and Sprite were curled up watching the TV, though there were no moving pictures. They were hooked on the showtunes. William has changed his behavior. He was quiet enough I let him sleep with me, though normally this means I do not sleep.

He was warm, soft, and he was well behaved. Even as the night wore on I slept hard and without any interruptions. When I woke he continued to sleep too. When running out of the room suddenly, he did it for the first time without running first into the walls. Showtunes? He apparently needed to have some calming music. He seems like a different cat. Did the Broadway gods come and steal the William I know and am often annoyed at replacing him with this alien copy? That would make him a copy cat.

All I know is this, I love Showtunes and they have him behaving so well our house is now going to be filled with the standards of the stage!

When the Doctor is Afraid

Ah the joys of seeing Specialists. My dermatologist today was afraid to treat me. It took me a while to realize what he had done. “Everything looks normal.” Patches of flesh, pustules, moles that look like the poster children for little melanoma and the remnants of the allergic reaction to Sunblock… all are normal?

He barely skimmed my chart, he didn’t want to touch me or look at me. Instead he said, “In Six months, when the insurance covers another visit come back and see the new dermatological plastic surgeon. He can take care of those moles.” Moles he had declared normal.

I did get a new prescription to try for the Hidradenitis Supprativa. A topical antibiotic and an oral antibiotic. I am about to take the first dose. I had to drain the blisters first. It wasn’t until I was leaving the hospital pharmacy that I snapped onto the problem. It took the strangest behavior I have seen at a hospital for me to click that the entire experience belonged in the Twlight Zone.

I was the invisible doorstop, a woman tried to shoved past me with a cigarette in hand and I blocked her. I didn’t have to move an inch to perform the act, I just had the entire width of the chair. I can’t suck it in, and as I choked on the smoke of her freshly lighted cigarette I let myself snarl. “Put that damned cigarette out. Are you insane? Taking a lighted cigarette into the hospital could be considered assault.” I didn’t have to think about my words, I just let them flow freely as my mind snapped the puzzle pieces into place.

The world had gone mad! The madwoman did thank me for stopping her. She stubbed the cigarette into her hand and continued her journey inside. I shuddered while seeing the odd spiderweb connections between her obvious challenges and the doctor.

I have three rare skin conditions, additional sensitivities, and other conditions that are also genetic and rare which can change how my skin reacts. I understand the doctor not wanting to treat me. I just wish he had been more direct about it. I am not afraid about the moles he left alone, but, I do find it odd he insists I see a plastic surgeon turned dermatologist. I will obediently have the mole cut off by the better man, but, what if he has the same hesitant fear?

I have run into this a few times. This is the cause of my high Doctor Turn Over Rate. They quit working and usually I fire them. They either run out of coping ability, they run out of knowledge, and they stop working. This one at least offered some suggestions but all were redundant, stymied by my allergies. He didn’t even try.

It is disappointing but I have my vanity for a bit longer. After the appointment my Person and I went to see why his check was short and as a result I wound up getting to eat a bit of fast food (yay Del Taco being Gluten Free) and a pair of clip on earrings to supplement my new ear needs. The dermatologist seemed competent but more comfortable with the able bodied woman or man who doesn’t know much about their flesh. He spent most of the appointment condescending about how Moles don’t exist. I let him, and when given the option of having him cut my head-mole down a peg or waiting six months to have it done right? I chose to wait.

What can we do when our doctors fail us in this manner? Sometimes we have to let them fail. He gave up the option of learning, of trying, and now if my head-mole turns out to be an extensive tumor as the one on my face was, the glory of removing a rare and still unnamed type of tissue is not his. It goes to the next doctor. That is a bit of comfort, as not every doctor is emotionally qualified to take on the harder cases.

He only failed me by not being upfront with his comfort level. When a doctor is afraid, it’s okay to let them go. I forget this at times. I forget that a doctor passing up the golden opportunity of treating me can be a good thing. If your doctor is too afraid, they will make more errors. They will take longer to find answers. I know, as you journey from doctor to doctor hunting for answers this feels painful. It is still better to let some doctors pass and to have other doctors treat you. I would rather have a wait of six months than permanent scarring with recurrent surgery because my doctor did not make the right choice.

For the comments section, feel free to add your own experiences with doctors who are afraid and doctors who fail.

#Amazonfail

By now, if you are on Twitter, politically minded, Disabled, gay, lesbian, transgendered, feminist, an ally, womanist, or like classic novels you have heard about the #amazonfail.

Amazon is removing books that might upset children. This means books that include anything about womanist/feminist views, sexuality for the GBLT community, GBLT nonsexual issues, Disability issues, disability and sex, classics such as Lady Chatterly’s lover, and a few other things like that are coming down. No more selling books like that.

At first, the policy to remove access to adult material sounds great. I thought so, before I knew of the failure that it entailed. I presumed they would remove Playboy, Maxim, rape porn. Rape porn stayed. What they removed instead are books I have used to shape my own thinking and life. I like the way I think, and despite the complaints of a few people who are mired in the patriarchial thinking that keeps people oppressed, I rarely preach about it. I usually write instead about healing.

When I was suicidal I wanted a how to manual on killing myself. Instead I found self help books. They helped me. Those books are being taken down en masse. There is no help for people who might trust a book.

When I wanted to know exactly how to have relations with my Person, I turned to books for ideas. I needed ideas on adapting my body. Many of the most helpful books in the regard to disability and sex are gone. A few of those books focused on the basics of adaptation after a Spinal Cord Injury. This includes using the restroom, cooking, and adapting how you move. Those books made no mention of sex. They are gone.

I have to admit some of the books I was about to buy are also gone. This disturbs me. What bothers me more is that this censorship is not touching books like Mein Kampf. Hitler can remain but not Lady Chatterly? Why?

As a writer, this adds to a bit of pressure. How does this effect the sales and royalties I could get? How does this effect my ability to find an audience? Yes there are other places to buy books, but as the world and America become more entrenched in the internet, Amazon and it’s fellow online retailers hold more sway.

This is blatant discrimination. If you choose to do nothing, I respect your choice. Just remember, it won’t stop here. Eventually we will be told what we may buy, how we may pay for it, and what to think. Viva la Revolucion!

What can you do to speak out about this? Glad you asked!

Here are the links I have as I write this:
The #Amazonfail Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=70927484220&ref=share

A blog about disability and this very same issue http://lisybabe.blogspot.com/

A petition in regards to the Amazonfail http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/in-protest-at-amazons-new-adult-policy

Another blog: http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/comments/amazon-rank/
Amazon Rank

amazon rank
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): amazon ranked

1. To censor and exclude on the basis of adult content in literature (except for Playboy, Penthouse, dogfighting and graphic novels depicting incest orgies).
2. To make changes based on inconsistent applications of standards, logic and common sense.

Etymology: from 12 April 2009 removal of sales rank figures from books on Amazon.com containing disability, sexual, erotic, romantic, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or queer content, rendering them impossible to find through basic search functions at the top of Amazon.com’s website. Titles stripped of their sales rankings include “Bastard Out of Carolina,” “Lady Chatterly’s Lover,” prominent romance novels, GLBTQ fiction novels, YA books, and narratives about gay people.

Example of usage: “I tried to do a report on Lady Chatterly’s Lover for English Lit, but my teacher amazon ranked me and I got an F on grounds that it was obscene.”

Alternate usage: “My girlfriend wanted to preserve her virginity, and I was happy to respect that, then she amazon ranked and decided anal sex was okay.”

I am Angry

I became aware of my anger today. I wasn’t aware how angry I was until trying to explain my back injury. I often tell myself I am not angry and try to behave with altruism in mind. I am pissed. Right now I could cuss! I have felt tension in my neck lately but, there are so many reasons to be tense I couldn’t figure out the why.

I am angry that people take disability as a sign of dramatics. I am not overly dramatic when I do not want to go grocery shopping. I do not want to face people. I do not want to treat something else that is medically wrong with me the doctors way, and choose to abide myself. This doesn’t make me overly dramatic. I have reasons for each thing, and none of them are dramatic.

None of my disabilities are in my head. As a young disabled woman, I am often told to get up and walk. My wheelchair is used as an excuse to shame me. It fails, but, I am angry. I am tired of explaining why I am in a wheelchair. Why is it not acceptable to ask someone, “Why aren’t you in a wheelchair?” Why is it that being seen as abnormal means people perceive weakness?

I am not weak. There is no weakness left with in me today. I might be weak tomorrow but right now I am feeling the roots of the earth. I am feeling ancient and mighty. There is a cost at this anger, but being aware of it means I can try and let it go.

I am specifically angry at the word Vanity today. Why is it vain to want to prepare for the risk of my hair not coming back with scar tissue? Any other person I know of seeking out ideas, pricing wigs, and other ways to hide scars would be assisted. When I ask the question the shop keepers look at me, look at the chair and ask why I bother. This is not right.

I want every bit of perceivable normalcy that I can obtain. I do not want people to see a big scar on my head, then my face. I want them to see my face. It is hard enough knowing that they first see my wheelchair, then my service animal, then my breasts, then my face. It takes so much more for a person with a disability to be seen as a person at all.

Why does it take extra brilliance to be an equal? Why does it take harder work to make ends meet? I am angry about this. My rage burns slow and deep. I am trying to change things but my fear is that I will fail. I am starting a professional public speaking business, and I am hearing the voice in my head whispering, “You will fail.”

I might. I don’t think I will. I know I will face discrimination, I will have to enforce the ADA wherever I go. I fear though, that I will be paid less because of the chair. I fear that people will not want to hear me speak because what good can a chubby chick in a wheelchair do for them? I have to push these aside and feel my anger, so that I can push on.

I am angry too as I realize that bullying doesn’t end with childhood. I am disappointed as that delusion fades upon the minor scruitiny. I will write about that soon. Adult bullies are just as bad as the children they raise. They are the ones who teach children cruelty. I run into them often.

I am proud to say that my lack of weakness shows more often than anything else. I am a very strong and talented woman but, what about those who have not had the chance to flourish? Yes, I fought tooth and nail for every bit of normal I can project, for every success. Not everyone is strong enough and most children with disabilities need more care than I recieved. How much stronger would I be if I had been cared for? I think I would be a million times stronger.

I am a butterfly with broken wings that has flown again. I just want to fly without it hurting. I want a moment of peace. I want to have one day where I do not have to prepare myself for the onslaught of the world’s prejudice. One day of peace. There is no such day. It might happen for some but as a person who cannot hide their disability, as a person who has a disability at all, as a woman, as a bisexual person, as an autistic, as a person of any minority knows… that day of peace is one that you fight for and taking it can cost you everything.

I am so angry, but I will not let my anger interrupt my path. I will not let it mask my fear. I will instead use it as passion to continue fighting discrimination. I will continue fighting for my freedom. I will continue fighting for your freedom. Everyday more people become disabled. Everyday more people find their rights are a myth. Everyday people die as a result of discrimination. Everyday in the United States, where I live, people die of starvation, people become homeless.

I am so angry. The anger comes from an emotional pain that leaves my heart throbbing and me in tears. This pain is for those who suffer. Part of it is physical pain too. My back aches, my muscles spasm, my ears ring so loudly I can barely hear anything over the din, my fingers hurt and dislocate, and I grow angrier because I don’t know why I feel like this. I shouldn’t lose a day to snow. I shouldn’t fear going outside, because each time I do my saftey is threatened by ignorant fools.

The cost of living with a disability is so high. I am tired of paying it. I am tired of feeling the terror of actually working. It makes me angry to feel fear like this. What if I do not earn enough to pay for my medication? What if I lose my SSI and become homeless? Will my Person and Caregiver both lose their incomes if I work? It effects them too.

I am tired of being angry. I am tired of worrying about appearance, yearning for enough money, proper clothing, and the ability to do what I want when I want not when someone else’s whim allows. I am far from alone in this anger too. Most people feel a form of it.

I thirst for the waters of freedom. I gasp for the air of life. I reach for it, but it is just out of reach. I feel the wind beneath my grasp and know it brings another storm I must weather. This is living. This is a life I did not dream of or foresee. I was unprepared yesterday. I was unprepared today. Tomorrow I will be prepared.

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