Updates: Here There Be Dragons Exclusive Content

I am at times a bit lazy about posting here or there, so I decided that some topics I will post to Here Be Dragons, a blog where I periodically write things about things and will just link you when the post goes up. If you don’t already read Here Be Dragons, it is a collective effort. The blog is Autistic central for me, and it’s not just educational but you also can see a myriad of perspectives.

I wrote about why the next Green Lantern should be Autistic. Don’t know what that means? Click this link here!

I like killing people.

I am working on writing fiction again. Fiction writing has been there, I’ve been building worlds and stories for as long as i can remember. Most of them are works of fantasy, but the story I am working on that has me wondering at how many fictional men I have killed off is meant to be highly realistic.

The protagonist is a woman in a wheelchair. That’s about all you get to know about her right this second, as that script will soon be produced, I just have to edit it a bit. The center of this woman’s life is a lot like mine. It’s a rich history of violence. I was unaware until talking with my new editor however that I have never written a fictional story where things don’t die. Usually they die with a hands on sort of violence.

My weapons of choice?  Knives, small guns, and the garotte.

The women rarely die, and these killing femmes, I guess that makes them femme fatalities really, tend to be strong and are often doing the world a service. I had begun to address concepts of privilege, race, and sexism in my writing before I was consciously aware of it. This script has overt racism, as one of the strong, female characters IS a black woman. The man who uses the language is purposefully white, and is trying to make her stop what she is doing with shame. Does it work? You just have to wait and see.

I like it. I feel a level of satisfaction when I have murdered a character. I don’t always describe the blood and guts, I leave most of that up to the witness (reader, listener, viewer depends on the medium). I leave that in their minds eye, because I find this gives them a taste of death. In a way by reading my stories you have partaken in the murder of the not so innocent fictional bad man.

I have a bit of a formula to my stories, though in between the formula there is great diversity.

1. The lead character is female, usually of color or with a disability or both.

2. Supporting characters are always persons of color, women, or of a non typical gender.

3. I never kill my homosexual characters.

4. All men are created evil.

5. Evil must die

Realizing that I really like killing off evil men, I am going back to my writing roots. You see one of the characters that has been the hardest for me to write and often compels me to write for him is a serial killer. He’s evil. He’s almost a force of nature. He always lives. I entered the realm of patterned writing out of fear, fear based on rejections. It is time to let my serial killer out of his box. He wants to come and play.

I still get to kill people, but the question is, are they good or bad? Who dies? Who lives? I must break my own set rules. After this, I am going to try and write something where no one dies and where things are generally hilarious. Good grief. I may even bring in some of my strong female characters to battle this villain, or I may create a strong male character. There is much I can do. I could do both.

Do you like killing fictional people via writing and reading? If so why?

Diet

I watched a documentary last night instead of sleeping called Fathead and yes that is a link. It was interesting to look and listen to as this person is advocating the diet I have been forced into by nature but has science to back it up. As a result I spent my morning assessing what I am eating and how I feel. I have been low fat for two months, and my depression has spiralled down more and more. It’s a rapid change.

I also find myself dreaming about CHEDDAR CHEESE. I am giving up the low fat thing, and instead of eating all the sugar I want as the doctor suggested (thankfully not a lot and I did point out I was only trying this to see how I felt to her) I am cutting out sugars that are processed. I do admit every so often I will brownie. I also have ice cream in my freezer. Still, I threw away a cake today, I wasn’t enjoying eating it so it was tossed. I feel no remorse except that it cost money to make. I had been trying to fill a need with the cake that I think fats will fill.

I am posting this here because I want to document this decision. This requires some heavy planning. Right now due to my water allergy I can only drink soda. Everything else causes reactions from blisters in my throat to anaphalactic shock. I have to find a substitute as even diet soda or anything other than Sprite is doing this to me. Sprite is a lot of sugar though, and the cat is pretty sweet too.

This means no more potatoes, corn, and no more rice. This means more meat. The moment I considered this I felt something inside me… relief. I’ve been struggling with the low fat because it tastes foul and rancid to me. The sour cream is indeed sour, not tasty. The only low fat item that stays is the skim milk. That’s because I am allergic to goats milk, won’t touch soy, and full fat milk makes me ill. Skim milk? I can handle and I rather like it.

Some of the guidelines I will be using come from the SCD diet. SCD stands for Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The preceeding link is to a personal blog by a woman named Susan. She has Rumatoid Arthritis (RA), her son is Autistic, and both live on the SCD diet. My own world changed when I dropped most grains and I suspect I may actually regain some of my lost physical ability in this method, and maybe will ditch my deadly depression.

I think once I am totally grain free I will try nuts again, and perhaps a few foods that have made me ill without anaphalactic shock. There is the chance that my body was just reacting for reactions sake, and that means I may have more diversity. I would kill to eat grapes again, though mostly because they are less expensive than strawberries. I do not have to give up my smoothies, and I have always wanted to make my own yoghurt.

My cholesterol was high as a result of stress, I think, and not the fat intake. Also my diet for even me was out of balance. I was starved except for stolen bits of cheese and potato. That’s really going to make you sick. I look forward to having things like a fillet mignon every so often, rewards I forbade myself with no clear reason. It is time for me to enjoy food again.

Caregiver Wrangling Update

My choice to call in and self advocate worked well. I was given an apology for the less than professional behavior, and I also interviewed someone new. She just transferred to me from her old client. My latest caregiver came to me without ANY trepidation on my part. I asked the usual questions, I watched Sprite, she understood what Sprite was saying. That was new. most take a few days.

She worked for an hour or so here, I got to eat. It was GOOD too. She helped me salvage some meat that had spoiled and I had my last potato for a while. So, despite the entire frustration level issue, good came out of it. Proactivity for the win!

Proactive vs Destructive (Trigger Warning)

Yesterday was destructive. I couldn’t bend to get into the fridge to get the food on the bottom shelf. I chose to not crawl. It took me all day to scrounge up something to eat. My kitchen is actually quite full of food, and I did pull things out of the freezer. I did my best. Hunger makes me panic. I have been hungry for most of my life. There are posters everywhere showing starving children, well I have been a starving child. I have known what it is to not know where the next meal is coming from. Hunger also disrupts my pattern. I have a set schedule, and hunger that I cannot fix ruins it.

I feel as if I am falling behind on a lot of my writing plans because I keep having to address issues beyond my control. This is of course life itself, but, really I am tired of the ping pong effect. A part of me feels punished by the caregiving agency. I felt forgotten. Today, I found out the hard way that my new caregiver isn’t going to work out. She didn’t show up. I gave her a full half an hour and called the agency.

I felt lied to. Surely they had been going to tell me that she was FIRED for not being on time? Surely my making it clear I have gone to bed hungry as a result of their failure to comply with their own promises may make it clear they need to call me and tell me when a caregiver fails before she gets here? Nope. Apparently not.

I had to choose. Do I risk more destruction by saying nothing? Do I risk alienating this person who has control over my future caregivers by saying something? What do I do? I chose to risk being destructive by being proactive. I made it clear that, “I expect communication in the future. If you know someone is not going to work out, tell me before I am stuck waiting for them. I also expect someone to come in today. I will not go to bed hungry.” I did not say outloud but implied heavily, that my being a consumer of their service hinges upon this.

Some of the destructive aspects of my hunger yesterday included admitting to the general world I am not a fan of parents. I try to keep in mind there are good parents but there is something missing in my comprehension… oh right.. I’ve never really met any before. There are some in recent days but most of my friends are actually childless, and I am still new to the idea of good parents. It’s a few years old but a few years is not enough when every fiber of my being has been taught to not trust, not trust not trust anyone who is a parent. Or… a Christian. Both have taken time and work but in hunger when I cannot think I cannot see the error of admitting that I don’t believe in fairy tale things like good parenting.

Obviously there are tons of good parents, but I have to think on this before accepting it. I have to analyze. I can accept that my cat talks, because I have always understood animals but sorry Mom, I can’t fathom good parenting. It may bite me in the butt before I even see it. In destructive mode I am more likely to forget my planned path of motion, which means some of the destruction can be physical.

Sprite has been doing her utmost to keep me steady, and today went into the fridge and grabbed a yoghurt for me to eat. She dislikes the cold, and normally we don’t have to send the cat into the food areas. She is still disgruntled but at least I had something in my system. I still am hungry though. That was to hold me over until the caregiver got here, and I only ate it out of fear.

Fear I will never eat again. Fear that in order to eat I will have to debase myself and endanger my health by crawling. Fear that if I use up the food I have then I will be hungry tomorrow. That is also a contributor to my not crawling yesterday, though there is no way I could have gotten up. I barely made it into my bed, my hips dislocated more than normal. Hunger makes my body lack the strength required to hold itself together. It used to take a lot longer for my muscles to go weak but I am recovering from starvation.

That adds to my insistence that I am given answers and information. I am aware not everyone who has a caregiver is going to NEED this information or can understand it. This doesn’t mean that I or others cannot. I need the information or I will turn into a badger, not the pestering kind but the tooth and claws and ripping your guts out kind. I have disembowled many an organizational structure for want of information. Doctors offices, a few lawyers, that grocery store that decided disabled people just don’t need food… all of them have scars from our interactions in which I found the only way to get answers was to destroy.

My destruction of others is always via the law, I find a way that insulates me from negative concequences to a degree. Yet the response to my asking for answers was as if I am imposing by wanting to know what is going on with my very own LIFE. You see, I considered the need for a caregiver yesterday. I was listening to the voices of the past. “You’re just lazy. If you just try harder you can do it.” Thanks Mom for that one too. It was her voice, though she is not the only one who said it. It was her, mocking my needs. I assessed my abilities yesterday, while trying to walk.

I need a caregiver. Even in the most destructive mode, for self or others, I need a caregiver. That mode is also less powerful than it used to be. The only thing I did that was technically bad for me was not hurt myself and dragging my trashbin outside. It smells so bad, I can smell it through my window. It has sat in my home for too many days. I chose to not vomit all night long, because that’s also bad for me. Not just the nasty taste, the bile damage to the teeth, but spinal damage occurs. The location of my break and saw bones on the spinal cord is effecting my diaphragm. Every time I gag or heave those muscles push the bones into my spinal cord. I then want to vomit for other reasons.

I need a caregiver to preserve my ability to function at this level. I know, preservation of ability in some ways seems silly, as if I am a human museum. I think that effect would be more clear if I had been moved into a clean room with two way mirrors just because I am fascinating medically. I had to fight for my independant living, and I am going to put off my need for a ventelator as long as possible. I am going to try and go the rest of my life with a bit of breathing trouble and that means I need a caregiver.

The line between proactive and destructive is not as clear in these situations. My being proactive can destroy my house of cards. I live moment to moment. I wish it could be paycheck to paycheck but that is a luxury I just cannot afford. I have to take this one hour at a time, because if I deviate too much I could be dead. If this person at the agency who handles everything for me ignores my wishes and needs, I could be dead. I felt ignored. I felt alarm bells going off, so I risked the destruction.

I don’t believe in justifiable anger. I think all anger exists for a reason. I am simply angry. Not enraged, there is a difference for me. Enraged is when I yell and consider ways to mutilate your personal life with my skill set. I try to avoid that feeling because I am mean and toxic then. Anger does not prevent me from being proactive but it feels gross. I dislike it. I like happy. I even prefer depressed to angry.

I made my anger clear. “I am angry that this has happened” seems clear to me. Suddenly I have an interview. It took less than five minutes for her to find someone for me to interview (obviously she was in process but I suspect the schedule was upped on when I meet this person) and suddenly a temp is scheduled despite the claims no one is available. I even had my CHOICE of options not “this is who we have”. My favorite temp Marlene is coming in. I like her, she’s patient with me and let me stare at her in terror for a month without batting an eye. When I started talking again she encouraged that too, and she admits it when she doesn’t get what I need done in the kitchen. She also has ideas for things to eat that I may not think of on my own, and that is helpful too.

It seems in the end there is only a razor’s edge between actions that can be proactive or destructive. I know this is not always the case but in most things I can see that. Prenatal testing walks the fine line of eugenics, the abortion debate walks the line of oppression of the poor and trying to coddle the right wing person. Both of these have the great power to be destructive. In my visualizations I see myself right now, in fine animated style. Maybe George Perez drew me? Who knows. However an inky cloud spews from me, and fire burns around me. I am pointing at the agency and the fire threatens to explode from me. This is my anger. My mouth however is free of fire, and my words are clear. “You will not neglect me.”

The Cost of Being Open (Trigger Warning)

Most people who blog do it under an Alias. The alias may look like a real name, but many have a fire wall between their lives and their blogs. I don’t. There are some things I just don’t blog about and that is that, though that list is shockingly small. My name really is Kateryna Fury. I admit fully as I have before I changed it from something else, but that previous identity is not really ever identified because I am trying to live as if she died.

There is a cost in being open. Some people have had their families harass them into silence, or a blog change depending on their personality. Others have been attacked by the local persons who know them. You can get stalked this way. It can be frightening. The cost I am talking about is something else. When the entire world knows that your heart is made of of sorrows, it can be difficult to be taken seriously. This is based on society’s problematic isms. Mental Health IE being considered crazy IE having been depressed or having a more serious condition (not to belittle depression but there are worse things) means immediately not being considered a person.

The truest form of disability is a lack of personhood. I have been upset today, with an unnamed need. I couldn’t fathom what it could be but the more I lacked it, the more upset I was. Some of this was made worse by finding out good things, my brain just refused to compute them. I had three options, find the need (felt impossible), melt down (probable), or somehow magically alter my brain. I found the need. I needed to call the agency that was supposed to have my new caregiver starting and find out where the temp was, because they screwed up the papers. They don’t know, she isn’t answering her phone and by the time I am done writing this, I will have called and said she is not welcome now it’s too late.

The need was to not be held in limbo, I may end up with a totally new caregiver, I may have another temp tomorrow, I do not know. The need was also food. My caregiver gets here at 12 pm. I eat then. If they are late, or do not show… no food. Weekends have hours on them because of this. That too has been unfulfilled. This agency is the best in town but right now I am very unhappy. The need also meant stopping writing, dragging my trashcan which has been festering for a week outside and slamming my door before taking pain meds.

I ate the last of the food I can prepare myself. this leaves me afraid. The cost of being open means however, when I am afraid, trying to find needs, and trying to discuss things I may say things in the wrong way. Words aren’t easily created for me, so at times I cannot place them in the proper order and at times even if the general idea is present people focus on the emotions or other things that are blocking the flow of words.

There are benefits to being open too, I never have to worry about having accidentally typed my name. I never have to worry that someone will find the anonymous blog I have and figure me out. Those two reasons are the biggest benefits of being open. They are good, too, in my case as I cannot keep a secret. I know this, and I don’t mind. If someone asks me if I can, the answer is no. I am not a blabber mouth, I just have a filtering issue where once the idea is in place I struggle to know if I should say this or not. I suspect this is common with Autism, but since I am one in a multitude I cannot say for certain.

I know that the fear of stalkers and/or having stalkers is the main reason people who blog, especially those who appear female or otherwise vulnerable, stay anonymous. I have in fact had a stalker, but that stalker came from the region of things we don’t blog about. In fact being open about this meant I had documentation and received help from my readers on how to deal with said issue. That was a benefit of being open.

This post is trigger light in some ways but I know it is triggering to have the feelings that I was having, or to read them. I felt like a kicked dog today, a beaten animal. I felt small. I felt like a child trying to get attention from Mommy. I felt like I was being bad. I spent some time crying because my body often does this when my brain is spinning it’s wheels in the mud. I think there is an element of PTSD that is omnipresent in anything I do as well.

I caught myself chanting, “I am bad, I am bad. I am a bad girl.” The word bad, I had to say it. I had the urge to bite my hands, to pull at my skin. I had the urge to cause self harm. This urge is something I feel whenever stressed. It is unpleasant and uncomfortable. I learned long ago that if I give in to that even though sometimes it makes me think better (not saying this is a good thing just that my logical reasoning as a child for why it should be okay to stab my thighs with a pencil until I bled was supposedly clear thinking) it means the institution awaits.

The chanting went further, I caught myself listing reasons why I am bad. This is tumbling out of my mouth while I am trying to do my daily needs on my own. Most of what I was aware of was pain, and having to walk. I kept forgetting what I was doing and with the festering garbage can i was also trying to breathe without gagging. “I am lazy, I am bad, lazy means worthless, I should just do it.” I still wasn’t even sure what it was.

I know what triggered me. It seems so odd that the trigger for my PTSD would be someone’s child having good parents. My mind tried to imagine a world without pain. That was what really set me on the path of regression. The lack of needs being met and my ability to do absolutely nothing without causing myself pain wrapped around it. I was in the jaws of an alligator while being constricted by a boa. My ability to think was on the menu.

I feel paranoid about everything I said and did. I reread everything, and there is nothing bad. There is an edge of babble in my interactions. That may always be present. Being open made me more afraid, as someone read my blog when I asked them to. What if they… what if… what if..

This person won’t judge me. Now my fear of being open and my mother reading the blog may be tangible. I worry she will read it and will be hurt that I don’t like her. I worry she will be hurt that I blame her for not doing. I worry she will be angry that I do not think she is as unable as she thinks she is. I know, that last statement is full of ableism. I do not deny that. I cannot comprehend what it is to be my mother, and from my vantage point there was more she could have done, and adult responsibilities I should not have had to do. I may be wrong. I need help and have a caregiver, why can’t she have the same need?

I worry about being open. I worry that someone who knows me will reject me based on my identity. My identity is contained in this blog. I am not just Kat Fury. I am a textual person. I am a writer. I have been published. I had a career. I threw it away. I worry, someone will realize I was someone who died (not on paper and most people know I am not dead) I worry they will try and zombify my existence with the baggage of she who was.

So, let me tell you a bit about She Who Was. She wrote stories, mostly short stories and poems. She sold most of them. She had many writing awards. She made a decent amount of money at it. She Who Was also hated herself, constantly wanted to die (I actually am still doing better than She Who Was did). She who was would take any failure on her part and would give up on her dreams as a result. Any failure meant a bout of self hatred. She who was did not care for her body but tried to punish it for being flawed. She who was, was not happy. I am happy, even in my depression. She who was is dead, because she who was is not who I am.

You won’t find me in the phone book, you won’t find me listed in many places. Google me and most of the links are to this blog actually, some relate to a friend’s comic book where he named a super hero after me, you will not find out who she was.

Broken (A Poem)

Broken wings
butterflies
I lay inside my shadows
the sun it burns too brightly
my heart it aches
it is cavernous
the fluttering fly
the butterfly
floating to the ground
crushed under pressure
broken wings
nothing fixes
nothing
not ever

What if I had… (trigger warning)

I passed a link on Facebook and the way I said something caused an enlightening conversation with someone. I’ve just begun to get to know a group of people via the route of Pendant Audio, and each time I say something I am afraid I will be rejected. Each time instead, I am accepted. If correction is needed it is given and that’s that. There is no devaluing, there is just this general sense of acecptance. This does not mean any group is without flaws but, I don’t feel like I am on the outside of something. I don’t feel that desperation inside me “Please don’t let me screw this up, please let me have said this right, please let me fit, please let me be good enough”. I have spent my life with that as my constant social companion. fear and terror. Doubt. Pendant Audio also has given me something constructive to do. In giving up my existing hobbies and existing structure, I entered a land of torture.

I need structure. I am afraid that I don’t deviate well from plans, and this can cause a melt down. I have given up everything familiar in my life so that I can be safe. I have given up the things that make me happy, so I can be safe. I cannot be happy if I am dead. The less I do the things I love the more pent up I feel. This is made worse by the lack of wheels. I want to go out, see do. I know when I do I risk over stimulation but I still deserve the freedom to go see do.

In talking with one of the Pendulums, as the members of Pendant Audio are called, I found out that their offspring happens to be Autistic. There was no mention of function levels (which I dislike because they feel so wrong and dehumanizing) just the question of, what do you do to raise your child well? I asked the question about a cure, because of course I want to know.

This child has amazing parents. They learned what they needed to feed their child to make them healthy, they adapted to the child’s needs. I feel jealous. The list of things that they have given their child in order to allow independence if so wanted and a life that is free of barriers and false social constructs amazes me. I am jealous.

I am verbal, I am independent, I am an adult. I live alone, successfully. I have only had barriers thrown at my feet, via psychitrization, medicalization, and a life long dehumanization. I still hear the scolding words “Listen to me, stop being lazy,” and all my worth as it funnelled down the drain, I can see this. The side effect of thinking in pictures is, I can see my parents, siblings, and the faces of everyone who ever shamed me for not being able to do it their way every time. It reenforces that pain.

There is a struggle involved in parenting, good or bad. The bad, the parent works against the child, punishes them for existing. It is a struggle between the child and the parent. The child always loses. You cannot defeat an opponent that controls the resources of your life. With good parenting, something I am still learning about, the struggle is against the world. The parent or parents work with the child and teach them how to navigate. They accept their child, and yes the days are not all golden paradise but there is love.

What if good parenting didn’t side line my brain every time I encountered it? It’s so foreign to me. It hurts. I know my mother may read this, and a part of me does care. She is on my facebook, and there are things I want to say, and do say to which I almost want to add (sorry mom) afterwards because it may hurt her. Sorry mom, for not thinking you did a good job with me, feels wrong too. It isn’t a true sorrow but a wish to avoid confrontation.

I am grasping at this idea. What if I had had proper diagnosises as a child, and my parents had cared and … what if I had what was needed in order to have a standard good childhood, (standard meaning proper food, safety, no violent horrible people, and perhaps accomodation). I probably would be named Mary Sue Who or something, I wouldn’t know me. I would not exist.

A part of me still longs for it. I know neither of my parents were equipped to raise children at all much less a child who has needs outside of what they could understand. Yes my mother has changed and grown a lot. She is raising my sister in an entirely different way. I am jealous of that too. I am jealous that Beth won’t have the memories of hunger, the memories of being shamed for not being able. Her life is still flawed, there is still room to be a better parent.

What if I had had loving parents? Good parents? Parents that were not disabled by their own lack of vision? Lack of acceptance? I don’t want to say my mother was a bad mother, but I cannot say she was a good mother. I know if my parents had known what I am, who I am, I would’ve been killed and buried in the back yard. I don’t think anything would be different for the better. I guess what I am asking is… What if I had another life as someone else. The same body, the same needs, the same mind, but with the needs fulfilled?

I cannot even imagine that. I try, but instead of an answer it’s a bit of missing things, the subtraction of my pain, for example. That’s all I can fathom. What if I had had a chance?

Sprite

I decided Sprite deserves an honor, as she always goes above and beyond what is expected of her. She has thusly been nominated for the life time service award (Screw the cat award, she has given a life time of service) with the ASPCA. In my lifetime of trials, the last five years have been better because of her presence. I would be very literally dead without her so many times over. Feel free to nominate her over and over if you want, or some other fantastic animal in your life!

Flame On! (Trigger and Mushiness warning)

Last night I had a meltdown. I haven’t lost control of my emotions or had no logical response in a very long time. A decade? Maybe more. Last night, my nightmares came true. This happens rather often, I presume it is because my fears are actually reasonable. The place I live had a fire. My home was on fire. I am still shaking as a result, but my mind is clear.

A man i had never seen before came to my home, pounded on the door, and told me there was fire and to get out. I turned and grabbed Sprite, and we went outside. My panic was instant. Where do I go? Is it close enough I can go? How far can I make it? Where is the fire? I had no answers, and no shoes. Sprite had no harness or leash and nestled on my shoulders to balance me. This is how I get things done in the house, so this wasn’t out of the norm.

I moved for the office, while calling the apartment manager. I could hear the fire engines coming, someone else had called in. I did consider it but, I had to work on the presumption that my being notified to get out meant they were coming. It was the lat bit of logic I had for a while. I made it rather far, I used the fence and held myself up creeping along. I was the only one outside when the fire went from small to OH MAH FRIGGING GODS THERE IS A GIANT FIRE OH GOD.

I saw it, in a washing machine in the laundry room. There are apartments all around this room, of course. The door was closed, the fire department had to smash it to get into it. They weren’t there yet though, and as the flames went Fwoosh and started eating the building, not just the laundry, I began to cry. The tears were wet, and painful because of my allergy to water. My reaction ranges from full body pain (minimal( to blisters. It was just pain. I back tracked away from the flames and was stuck. I couldn’t be sure home was safe, a sensation that made my panic worse, and I couldn’t get people to answer. I stopped calling folks because I was having trouble breathing. Athsma + Smoke * tears= Cough cough cough.

This is when things get interesting. My neighbors all respect me, every time there is a need they perceive this is shown. There is a strong sense of community with in the hallowed complex. There is also a fear of outsiders, but if you pay rent you are automatically accepted. As people arrived, I did my best to retain the little shred of calm that I thought I had, it was not there. I still suggested that they wake up the manager, it was about eight at night. A lot of people go to bed around then.

The fire department stayed near the fire, and I stayed on the fence. Literally. I watched as they quickly contained the fire, then got it out. The flames were no longer visible by the time we got the manager up. The fire department was more than efficient. In movies and TV they are never that quick and to the point. I know that is to play out the drama but, it really doesn’t credit the fire fighters.

Sprite only tried to escape once, and it was the moment I wanted to. It’s natural to go away from fire. When the fire doubled in size in that split second, she started to bolt. Started. She stopped herself. I want to give her an award, a medal, a treat, and a golden kitty bed that she would never ever use because she was quiet, composed, and she did her job when the other service animals in the complex could not.

A part of my melt down was the pain level I was facing. Standing for more than thirty seconds has me on the edge of my pain tolerance. Past that and we’re entering territory where my systems stop functioning bodily. Circulation cuts down enough that I was blue again. My hands are still a bit oddly colored, it will take time for my body to catch up to itself. The second issue is breathing. The injury to my back spasms and it can paralyze my diaphragm. This is scary when I am not facing fire.

A secondary part was the sounds. Fire is loud, the fire department HAS to be loud. Sirens alone make me want to scream and cry. Even the far away ones. There was banging, hissing, shattering, smashing wooshing sounds. There was also a high level of fear, and fear can be contagious.

My neighbors supported me, for a few moments literally, and then once we could go inside I had help so that if I fell it wasn’t as bad. Then, for the next few hours until the fire department went away, I was checked on by every single person who could do so. Further more, the person alerting people to fire was making certain to tell the people who would be slowest to get out first. It was an act that put him in potential danger and was unselfish even if my not knowing him scared me.

There are rumors of arson today, but I am hoping for either an electrical cause or a cigarette butt left smouldering. a lot of people smoke here, and an electrical issue means that no one purposefully set the building on fire. I don’t want to suspect my neighbors of wickedness, when every single one of them is wonderful. I like them all. Not everyone here gets along with one another but I can talk to every single one of them.

Everyone in my complex has a form of disability, from mobility on to cognitive challenges. Everyone has a different way of speaking and yet everyone here is supportive. I know if I need help, I can ask. I can just scream out for it really, and they will come to my aid. I am left to think on the times when danger came hunting me, and danger did not find me because of my neighbors.

I am safe here, the fire is out and it’s ashes are quickly being covered in snow. I admit I want to see the destruction. I admit my fear of fire is not less but a bit greater. I did not have dreams last night. I was so tired, as I hadn’t slept for a day, that it was beyond me. I am aware that Sprite has not left my side since. She even held it until I was upright this morning, then bolted for the litterbox only to check and see I was following. The cut on my hand (I think it is from the fence, and so did the police) is a little infected but with my immune system that’s fairly normal. If it didn’t get a little pussy I’d worry. It’s not as bad as I expected and my costco gallon of peroxide (it was two bucks!) will get plenty of use.

Sprite and I are fine, no one was hurt. No one lost their shelter or home. I faced my horrid nightmares in reality. Facing fear sucks.

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