Treatment and the Day of Silence

I am not talking about medical treatment today. I am talking about the treatment that humans offer one another. This is the main reason I do not allow myself to cuss. I want to stop myself from hurting someone without thinking, and that is the most common use for curse words.

I have written a bit about my bullying experiences before, but today I want to talk with you about the Day of Silence and why I am taking part. I keep trying to fit all of this information on a double sided business card. I am preparing, my white board is ready, I am considering which form of tape to put over my lips. I am taping them closed on Friday, so that I do not accidentally babble. It happens. I think I am quiet and I have been talking for an hour about nonsense.

The Day of Silence, in my eyes, is an opportunity to educate those who have various privileges on the oppression that they do not see. I am an advocate for so many and I am advocating with my silence for any without a voice. The main focus is GBLT relations, but, I am adding to my silence the silence of those with a disability that takes their voice, those who are not heard when they speak out about abuse, and those who are not seen. I am taking part in the day of silence, and I call for you to do the same.

We who can speak out, especially with grace and eloquence, have a duty to protect those who have no voice. The world exists today where people who are marginalized are still being punished. A young man hung himself due to bullying. I do not use the word excessive before bullying as many do, because any bullying is excessive. If you excuse smaller amounts of bullying with that one word, you excuse it all.

If you read most of the blogs in my Blogroll, then you are most likely already aware of the Day of Silence. You are likely aware of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoove hanging himself at the age of 11. You might have seen his picture. If not. look into the face of battered innocence.

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoove age 11. He is wearing a football uniform, holding a helmet and smiling.

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoove age 11. He is wearing a football uniform, holding a helmet and smiling.

The antibullying action taken to protect this child was to force him to eat lunch with his abuser. That is as effective as the silence I faced when I was Burned at the Stake. His family is supporting the Day of Silence, as he was going to turn 12 this Friday. The Day of Silence is April 17th.

I look back at my life and see how close I came to suicide as well. I wanted to die so often, but I wasn’t able to make myself or someone stopped me. No one considered the ramifications for this boy. His death is criminal. Suicide? In a way it is murder. Every child who ridiculed him is guilty. They may be children but I honestly hope that they feel the guilt, that it eats at them enough to prevent the next act of bullying. I doubt it. The excuse that Children Are Cruel is not acceptable. No, children are not cruel. They are innocent. They are taught cruelty by the adults in their lives.

We are responsible. If you would not ordinarily take part in a protest, consider it as a way to honor every child who has been bullied because of skin color, hair color, eye color, behavioral difference, able bodied differences, or even for a difference that cannot be listed here. If you were bullied. Take part. If you bullied someone when you were a child. Take part.

This is a call to action. After I get my business cards ready, I will post the file here so you can download and print the minifliers. You can also find information on the day of silence website, they have resources and tools.

This is a way to advocate for yourself, for your children, for the children of the future, and for who you used to be. Stand up, stay silence, and be proud of it. If you are against the human rights of others, you probably aren’t reading this blog.

The Day of Silence Website: http://www.dayofsilence.org/

Twitter

Twitter. It sounds ominous doesn’t it? This is an update to let you all know I finally found a reason to twitter, so, here goes.

You can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/TextualFury

If any of you use Twitter let me know!

Vanity

My vane side will be challenged Monday. I am not so sure a dash of vanity is a bad thing. Vanity helps me present a good image when I am in a professional situation. Vanity gives me a reason to brush my hair even when I cannot get out of bed. Vanity is not as wicked as it could be if you only have a small dose.

I am going to the Dermatologist to finally give in, having a part of my head shaved and a giant mole/tumor cut out of my head. I put it off for over a year but the Mole thing is growing again. I put it off more out of my fear of pain than having my hair look a mess. I am going to buy some nice headscarves and cover what is missing until it grows out. I also look darned good with bangs, so I will eventually have those too.

Haven’t I had enough pain? The pain alone from this mole is bad, but the needles in my flesh that will come Monday will be worse. I can’t avoid it anymore however. This mole is not cancer. I am pretty sure of that. If I am wrong I’ll regret waiting to say anything for years and procrastination but, it is the result of sun damage.

Some of my worst memories with fashion center around this mole. Going to the salon they always cut into it with the brush and scissors, ignoring my warnings that I had a giant mole that stands up an inch tall on my head. I hide it in my hair but, I have never felt it was hidden. My fear is that my hair will not grow back in that spot, that forever I will hold more scars, more risk for torment. More otherness.

Beth Oblong from the Oblongs Series with her short hair and tumor on her head.

Beth Oblong from the Oblongs Series with her short hair and tumor on her head.

This image encapsulates how I have felt for years. Beth Oblong is a girl from a cartoon that was geared for adults called the Oblongs. They live in a Toxic Waste dump, their otherness is flaunted in the show, the otherness got it canceled. When I first saw it, I identified strongly with the character of Beth, if only because I have a rather large thing sticking up out of my head. It’s always there, often it hurts, and as a child I was not allowed to hide it adding to the many reasons that the other children could ridicule me.

That ends Monday unless a surgeon is needed to get it off my head. I am scared, but happy. It’s one way to lose some weight right? I do not need to include pictures of my actual head mole here, nor will I share the grotesque healing process with you.

This is just one way that vanity can help and hurt. My vanity will help me work out ways to hide my wounds which will let my heart heal but vanity also stopped me from seeing a doctor sooner. Doctors can ridicule too and being made fun of for being different has left me wanting to never show my face again in many ways.

Just remember, if you have any moles or skin spots that seem off, do see a Dermatologist. Even if they want to cut it out, it’s better than being sick. Once my head mole is gone I can brush my hair without having to skip a bit. I am so afraid I keep thinking it is tomorrow but there is just one more day, one day left with hiding it. One day.

Then after I heal, just like the one I used to have on my face, I will be free.

Speeches

I have promised a catalogue of my speeches. So far these are the files I have gotten uploaded to Youtube.The youtube account name is TextualFury. I know some of the videos are flawed, okay all of them are. Feel free to comment here or on youtube if you have any input.


This speech is titled “What is a Service Animal?” At the end of the speech a copy of both the Federal and State law was handed out, with my business card as I could not explain the entire law with in even three hours. You can see me stand, you can see Sprite the service cat in action too.

This is a speech that is meant to explain my wheelchair. It is called “Thirty Seconds.” The goal of this speech was to work on my gestures, something that I find more challenging since breaking my back. I had to work through a lot of pain to even write the speech. The physical portion wasn’t painful during this rendition, though developing each motion was.

This is the same speech as before with some rewrites. I am trying to focus it into an inspiration with a call to action just to think, to help others, and to hope. This is a better angle but the sound is out of sync.

Here is my Person giving an extemporaneous speech that is meant to last between one to two minutes. Now you know my secret, he’s talented, eloquent, and adorable.This is posted with Permission.

His question was, “What was your favorite TV show during your childhood?” His answer for those who cannot view the video, was MacGuyver. I am planning to transcribe the other videos, though this will take time and I have no idea if I will get to it soon at all.

One final video. This is just the beauty of the local campus. Soft, beautiful birdsong and bright green ivy. This was filmed after the second version of the Thirty Seconds speech and Paul’s tabletopics. It was just too beautiful to not film.

Cats in Pants (Trigger Warning)

William decided the best place to curl up and rest today was in my Pants. I was wearing them at the time. This is my concequence for preferring my clothing be loose. If I wear pants they must be two sizes too large and soft. I was sitting in a comfortable position, that would probably look weird if that sort of thing mattered and my arms just wouldn’t hold his fifteen pounds. He promptly curled up to take a nap, which caused me to laugh for half an hour, even though the end result was that my cat pantsed me. He reminded me that I need to laugh more. I usually laugh once a day but for the last few weeks I have fought depression.

William Shakespurr curled up in my pants, he is black and white. The pants are black velvet.

William Shakespurr curled up in my pants, he is black and white. The pants are black velvet.

The post I recently wrote about my worst secret should’ve left me reeling. Past experience tells me that addressing that issue in anyway debilitates me for weeks. I think I was finally ready. That readiness doesn’t  make writing any easier on the topic of healing. My distractions and triggers are still persistently here.

I am not sure what left me ready to write that post. I am not sure it was readiness so much as a desperate need to communicate the pain. I was telegraphing communications, and the conflicts I was facing because of my silence were too great. Perhaps it was the need to survive. I still cannot say the words that make up the events outloud.

A part of that is required censorship by my abuser. The threats of violence echo in my mind even when I type. He is dead but the fear isn’t. A part of it is the censorship that is required to protect my mother and siblings who need to be protected. Why do I feel they are so vulnerable? They have never left the battles behind. I see them as more haunted, more sensitive, and more fragile. This is partly because of the very messages they gave in response to my first attempts to address the abuse.

Another part of this is a physical memory that comes forward as part of my PTSD. Those hands on my throat, they make the words vanish. The third part is my fear of being judged. I am not sure how rape is ever the fault of an eight year old child or any other child or even adult man or woman but that fear is there. The fear of being told you deserved it.

There is so much poison in this world. It took me years to learn to hug, to smile. Now hugging is unbearably painful. I feel the loss of those hugs greatly. Still, the strangest things happen and the smallest reason to laugh is good enough. I can laugh at my cat in my pants. I can take pictures of my cat in my pants. That is a huge difference in who I used to be.

My default expression is a smile. I am always smiling, unless I need to cry or if anger and sorrow are what I really feel. I no longer wear a mask to hide who I am. I see the world in music and hear it in color. I am free. I hope you enjoy seeing my cat in pants.

Find your own moment with a cat in pants, with anything to smile over. Maybe it will be your sleeping child, maybe it will be a butterfly on a newly blossomed spring flower. Maybe it will be slapstick comedy. As I write this, I am watching my two cats bathe one another. It is a sweetness that makes my smile grow.

A smile is like a flower. It must be fed happiness, watered with tears of sorrow, ferilized with life, and tended. A smile is a flower that can always be in blossom.

One persons Courage…

You hear about it in the news, inspirational articles, and in the whispers of people discussing someone’s life. Sometimes you hear it to your face. “You are so courageous.” I have been facing my fears lately and there has been some courage yet, most of what people tell me is courage is merely a will to live. Is the Will to Live what makes us couragous? Does this invalidate courage?

When I hear about someone being courageous, brave, or something along that line the picture in my mind is a bit gender normative and sexist. It’s a brave soldier in a black and white movie with bombs exploding behind him rescuing the little woman and running away from gunfire without breaking a sweat. I am well aware this is a very skewed image that remains in my mind. I use this image to invalidate my own experience often.

How can I be courageous? I just didn’t give up. I didn’t notice it until tonight. Giving the speech about my Thirty Seconds, I was reminded it is courageous to save a life. I found myself afraid of those words. Why fear courage? I think it is the responsibility to be something more than human that the media shows us courage is. Batman is couragous. He’s a super hero. I am just a small and broken woman at the end of her endurance trying to make it through every day.

I am trying to teach myself what courage can be, beyond the black and white John Wayne dreams. I am trying to teach myself that courage is simply living. Transgendered people who have the courage to go through the change, to live in the sex that fits their minds and not their bodies are courageous because it is their will to live. They can die for being who they are.

How terrifying it must be to have to pee in public. How terrifying it must be to go clothes shopping, to go out and feel that fear… what if someone figures out who they are and in their ridiculous hatred they attack? That is courage. It is also horribly sad that we live in a world where it is not a hate crime to attack a trans individual. I didn’t know that until recently, I thought that it was a hate crime. It should be. Living without a legal saftey net, living without basic human respect, and living without the ability to be accepted by any other minority (except for some of us who actually do care) takes courage. There are trans persons who are unable to live as they wish, because it is too dangerous.

It takes courage to live at all. It takes courage for the college student to go to her late night class, because she hears all the warnings about rape. It takes courage for the woman who was date raped to speak up, risking victim blaming and slut shaming. It takes courage for the teen mother to take pride in being a mother, bucking against the stereotypes about teen mothers. It takes courage for the disabled man to go up a flight of stairs on his hands and knees to see if his able bodied friends and family are alright after hearing a gunshot. He couldn’t escape if there was a killer. That is courage.

To revile the word courage is to revile the act of living. It takes courage for our students to go to school. We live in a world where the terror of school shootings is very real, where the hate that a disabled student feels can destroy their minds and their souls. We live in a world where there is no safe haven. It takes courage to raise a child with disabilities and to love them. It takes courage to admit that you are disabled.

It takes courage to say that you do not want to see a movie because it is full of sexism. It takes courage to be a Womanist. It takes courage to be a Feminist. It takes courage to be an advocate. It takes courage to write. It takes courage to cry. It takes courage to go out, knowing discrimination is waiting for you. It takes courage to date a person who is of another color. It takes courage to love someone who is of the same sex.

In a world as full of toxic messages, it is cowardly to defame courage. To hold the power to inspire one person is enough to change the world. To inspire countless thousands? That is a gift unparalleled. Forgive me for feeling that I was unworthy of the word courage.

I have been courageous. I am courageous to write about my time as a Victim. I am courageous to have ideas and to share them. I am courageous to start a business during a Depression.

You are courageous too. I am sure you can list ways you are courageous. I would like the comments on this post to be dedicated to your courage. What have you done that is courageous today?

Today my act of courage is to start planning the wedding ceremony for two young women in love. My acts of courage in life will include officiating their wedding ceremony. I do this with pride, and to honor their love and the courage it takes to stand up and proudly say, “I am Gay, I am Pagan, and I am in Love!”

Thank you for your life. Thank you for your courage.

Over Reacting?

Am I over reacting to the news about the new Rogan movie? I made the choice to make my friends, male and female aware of the rape scene. Most of them either didn’t care or thought I was over reacting.

“Don’t get mad.” “I don’t care.” “It doesn’t effect me.” My choice to become angry earned me dozens of people telling me my upset is invalid. The movie looks funny to them. I have yet to find any Rogan film actually funny, but trying to warn them to protect my friends has only gained me treatment that I would never offer them. In trying to explain why a date rape scene as comedy is not funny, I am told instead to stop over reacting.

How is wanting to protect someone an over reaction? Yes I asked for a boycott but I didn’t ask for proof or an answer. I didn’t explain well, when being told there is no sexism in movies like Knocked Up. There isn’t? I am not going to list the instances, unless someone really requests it because that will take me hours. I do not have the time right this second.

I am tired of spoon feeding people answers. I am tired of being cussed at, told to not have an opinion, and treated like garbage. I am tired of the temptation to cuss back. Why should I be cussed at when I tell someone we need to change the subject four times, and get angry? Why are my emotions invalid?

I am not over reacting. The idea of paying to see a film and having a very real trauma treated as a joke disgusts me. The idea that any actor or actress would choose to portray these roles disturbs me. “Don’t Blame Rogan.” Why? Actors and Actresses are allowed to speak up, especially established actors. Rogan qualifies. He and Ferris both could have said no. Neither did.

Why shouldn’t I react? Why should I passively sit back and let it go? Why do I have to manually link, explain, and define everything? What happened to the freedom of thought? I know those of you reading this actually do think. I am sorry for the blanket questions, yet there is a huge gap out there.

Does age really invalidate the need for critical thinking? I am not sure that my brain qualifies me to try and guess what others think. I don’t really know what the development of a normal person is. Trauma alone changed my needs and the skills that come with survival. Is it wrong for me to expect a person who is well aware of their enviroment and the abuses that are surrounding them to free themselves? Why wait it out? What good does that do you? What if you do not survive the waiting period?

Is it wrong for me to find someone saying that my choice to not curse, even when extremely angry, is a superiority complex silly? I don’t think so but what about the typical person? I use the word typical here to mean someone who is not Autustic, someone who is not a sufferer of abuse. Someone else.

Why is it wrong to react with passion to something that should be criminal? Why is it wrong to expect someone to at least take slight notice of the patriarchy? I always have. I have always been aware of the sexism and pecking order in the world. Aside from choice how can you be blind to it? How can you not see what is slapping you in the face daily? What makes you choose that?
Yes, there are a lot of questions here but, I think they are valid. Most are hypothetical, but if you can answer them please do.

Also, I am requesting that you boycott the new Seth Rogan movie Observe and Report. Imagine paying to have flashbacks? That’s what has me prickling like a hedgehog. I can’t really imagine paying to watch any woman act like an under educated nitwit either, but, some people find sexism and degredation funny apparently.

One last question. Is it wrong for me, to regardless of age, expect the same respect I offer people by not cursing? Why should I allow someone to call be names just to satisfy their immaturity? Does being a teenager mean I should have higher standards or should I lower them and let people degrade themselves? Should I let the people in my life treat me like crap because they expect me to allow this? I choose to say something when someone curses at me, but, each time there is always just another name. Do I cut them out as I have other people who hurt me? Is that an over reaction or is it just temptation for self preservation?

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