Bodily Autonomy (Trigger Warning)

This Post Contains an Ableism trigger warning due to the forced steralization.

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Tick Tock Tick Tock (trigger warning)

I feel time today, more so than other days. I am aware that I am up way too early and that my body will scream for sleep again before 4pm. Pain woke me and with every breath I could feel the tick tock of the clock. I only have digital clocks around because the actual ticking sounds tend to make me want to scream when I can’t sleep. Breathe in, breathe out. Inhale. Exhale. I wonder at time.

Time for me is such a disjointed creature, not just the fast and slow but the way that memories sprout up at the oddest times. Since watching that horrible movie this week I have had to face my dangerous side. I know I am a dangerous woman. I have skills that could be used to hurt a lot of people if I wanted. Yet, I don’t think this is what makes me dangerous. Do I know how to kill you with anything at hand? Sure! Will I? Only if you start it. Only if I have to defend myself. Even then I may just let my cat protect me and I doubt I will kill you.

I am left with the images of blood on my hands. That phrasing is wrong too. The blood I see on my hands never goes away. No amount of scrubbing or washing will remove the memory from my head, or the sickening sensation as metal penetrated flesh, the thud as metal hit bone. It’s there for me always. Between the seconds, in every spare moment there is a small reminder. I feel queasy thinking on this stuff but I can’t not so I try and go with the flow.

I am burning and I am freezing as a result. I see myself from outside, but this is not disassociation because I am still here. It is merely me watching who I have become. I know blood. I know how to make several times of incidiary device, most of them on timers, one with a deadman switch though I am sure if I wanted I could modify that to fit into any other device. It’s not that hard. Then the smells would bother me, but that is another reason that I wouldn’t use those skills.

I am dangerous, but not because of those things either. I am dangerous because I choose to not kill. I choose to not destroy. I am a builder. I am the Katalyst. Everything I do is for change, and it always has been. The choice is mine if it is a positive change or a negative change. When someone angers me and I want to stab their eyes out, I don’t. Instead I try to educate them so that the next person they meet who could be as dangerous as me or more so doesn’t actually stab their eyes out. I try and give them knowledge because knowledge is the biggest force of change.

I am not the monster my father tried to create. I am not my mother’s daughter, to be pitied and a victim. This also makes me dangerous. I went off of their maps and plans for me. I am a rogue agent in the cycle of abuse. Not only have I gone rogue but I have also taken others with me. I have spoken up when a mother slaps their child at Walmart. I have called Child Protective Services on my own friends’ parents. I have done things to protect other people. I have done things to change my community.

When I see wrong I don’t turn away. This makes me dangerous. I know that just existing has put me in danger and I find that my fear of being hurt again is less and less. I know that I can date successfully if I want because if a man or woman tries to hurt me, I can protect myself. I also know I make the conscious choice to not be an abuser as well. I don’t ever forget I can hurt them.

The ticking clock in my day whispers to me about how this is. I can envision outcomes. I can see the paths before me. Do I choose one? Never. I never choose the path. I choose to roll over the grasses and enjoy the flowers. I may like my structure, and I may have my habits but none of them are as life affirming as the mornings between the clock. I can feel the morphine entering my blood, it creates a path of  numbness up my back as the next minute turns over, in another half an hour it will actually hit my brain and I will feel my muscles relax, the pain pushed under a slight haze.

The haze doesn’t take away my edge though, it gives me a better one. I know I will never be able to go outside without being armed to the teeth with precautions for and against things. Mace is the least of a predators worries. I know that I cannot enter a building without knowing all the exists, the safe places to sit, and that you should never sit in a corner with your back to the door. Sometimes, I try and sit in those seats just because.

I wonder why I needed these skills. What did my father thing I was going to grow up to be? Him? These skills are useful for a small segment of the population, people on the run from the cops, the cops, soldiers, and other people who fight all the time. I know I fight constantly but I fight in new ways. The ways he taught me may be effective but they don’t make change happen. They cause fear.

I think of my sensei, and I think of his home. There was never a seat in a corner, and the seats always faced the door. I think he too knew of the ways to be dangerous. Okay I know flat out he did. I remember the way he watched me the first time I entered his house. There was no rushing, just watching. I think he knew in that moment just how wrong my life had the chance to be. I remember him crying, the tears are fragmented. He never hid them from me though.

I remember my sensei not being afraid of my father. I remember my sensei teaching me the ways of defense instead of offense. I remember him showing me how to laugh. Laughter makes me all the more dangerous. The danger is to those who want me in their construct. A woman like me is apparently rare. I think that a woman like me is not so rare. That implication is that I must be as strong as a man usually. I am stronger than any men I know. My sensei is my equal, that is something he always told me.

Physically, I am there to be underestimated. I like this. I may be a lot weaker than many people physically but I know how to use my body. I also know how to use my wheelchair for self defense. It’s a part of the training. It’s also a part of the Escrima classes I took to get over that fear of going outside. Instead of my knee being used which would damage me, there’s always the arm rest. Arm rest has metal. Face to arm rest. That should probably take care of it.

If my body is so weak and my mind is so strong then together they can balance out. I know this is why I managed to move here. I did not evade the concequences but I do not fear being trapped ever again. I know I have what it takes to live fully. This is again something that makes me dangerous.

You see, all it takes to be dangerous is to be a rebel. To be a rebel you must do as you see, try and change the world, and ignore the rules of man. I am just one of many dangerous people in this world. I make friends out of the dangerous people too. I am not a killer. I am not a machine. I am not evil. My danger lies in my want of good, equality and justice for all without equivocation. My danger lies in my ability to enforce changes that should’ve been made twenty or more years ago. My danger lies in my refusal to just die and go away so that people who fear difference get comfortable.

There is no threat that I will harm them, there is fear from them I will. There is no threat that I will infect them, because being like me isn’t contagious. There is fear that I will show them that they are wrong. That makes me the most dangerous woman alive between the seconds. (Also I should so make this into a movie. 24 movie has nothing on this post!)

A Response to the Movie and Comic Book Kick Ass (Trigger Warning Based on Material)

Dear readers, this post and the aforementioned movie and comic book should all come with a trigger warning. I felt I should post this down here because I am going to try and write this with as few triggers as I can but Mark Millar seems to be one hell of an abusive person and therefore there is plenty of abuse to talk about.

I am an avid comic book reader. I like pretty much any comic you hand me. I’ve even managed to enjoy Archie comics. I did not enjoy Kick Ass. I read it because of the hype. I also borrowed it because of the hype. Hype usually means patriarchy. In this case it was formulaic patriarchy with racism, tons of homophobia, and of course as much child abuse as possible. That’s pretty much all Kick Ass is.

You see the writer, and I use that term loosely, creates (again a term used loosely) a world where superheroes kill everything as violently as they can. Wait what? It gets better. Super heroes kill everything that moves, and a father shoots his daughter repeatedly so she knows how it feels. Yes she has Kevlar. Does that make it any less triggering? NO. Does that make the training that Hit Girl endures to become someone that can kill with a smile less child abuse? No, it actually adds to it.

You see in reality I have had enough training that I could ostensibly have pulled off running around and killing people ala Hit Girl. Except that I didn’t want to kill people. Except that anyone that can kill with a smile has some serious psychological issues. Except that yeah my body sucks now and a huge component of that disabling pain comes from those same abuses. A child’s body will not handle the effects of being beaten in the same way as an adults. The damage is longer lasting.

So, right off in both the comic book and the film I was triggered. The film was in some ways less homophobic, and in many was more racist and anti woman. I realized as I watched Hit girl slaughtering a bunch of black men that Hit Girl is designed to reenforce the patriarchy. You see, if a woman has the power to kill you she will do it with a smile. She will lose her innocence (a lot of the blood shed metaphores of yore work out for this movie. Hit girl is rarely touched by males and is cold. Hard.) A woman that is capable of violence is instantly a killer. There are also elements of the madonna whore in a school girl outfit given. There were attempts made by Hitgirl to flirt. Yes, an eight year old or whatever she is was trying to flirt her way around.

Healthy imagery. In fact everything in this series is a carefully selected trope of what makes a man a man, what makes a woman great, and all of these are cliches. One of the worse changes between the comics and the movies was the reason that the big evil black man dies introducing Kick Ass to Hit Girl. In the comic book Kick Ass is going to save a stranger from domestic violence. (More triggers, and tons of racism). In the comic book the woman is black, the man is black. There is a part of this that is rare, as usually the black man is the predator after the young white girl. Of course there is also tons of racism since the man is a thug for the mafia and is apparently deserving of a katana through the chest…

Cue the movie. Any gaping void that was there in the isms was filled in. In the movie the high school girl that is with Kickass as his friend because he is supposedly a gay prostitute (she likes to save those poor people who aren’t with in the patriarchial boundaries you see) is now the victim. This is ahuge change of reason for both the characters. Kick Ass loses an element of heroism because he is just taking care of the girl he wants to have sex with. The black villain cliche o’ racism loses an element of being semi-original but still super duper racist because of course Hollywood cannot sell us something that isn’t made to reenforce the patriarchy so fully that I end up almost puking before the end of the film.

Mark Millar fans that see this as an attack, go ahead. It is. I am attacking his racism. I am attacking his homophobia. I am also attacking his comic book writing credentials. I can do better. Know how I know? I have WRITTEN COMIC BOOKS. If the villains kill less people than the heroes how are people supposed to identify with them? My issues with this film were so high I had to talk it out with a friend, and he had a great quote.

“the fight scenes which kind of sound cool…really bored me…there was no emotional reason behind the last hour of the film…yes her father was killed…but it almost didn’t feel like his death was truly acknowledged and rather it just went into super vengeance mode which no superhero should do. Where the hell was morality in all of this?”

You see, what makes a super hero heroic, as the movie Hancock tried to tell us between it’s cliches and tropes o racism and bad acting was that a hero will not be accepted by the world if they act with baseless violence. You may think so Mark Millar but you aren’t the world. I understand a great many people think this movie is great. Those people aren’t looking at this film and aren’t identifying which origins and characters you plagerised. Spiderman without powers, the Punisher, Batman/owlman/bluebeetle, oh and even your movie didn’t have a consistent soundtrack because the soundtrack was a mishmash of all previous heroing movie sound tracks. Could you BE more obvious with your movie,comic.videogame baiting cycle?

No. The answer is no.

There are people who like this film. The majority of people that like this film are stuck in the patriarchy unaware by choice of how baselessly ridiculous this film is. They have to work at it. You see, there isn’t anything original about Kickass. We’ve had better gore from Saw, we’ve had the same origin stories over and over. Except that the difference between Robin and Hit Girl lies in how they were trained. Yes Frank Miller tried to make Batman a violent abuser, but the public panned that and this was undone. Robin was trained carefully, so that he would know how to fight without killing. Hit Girl was trained to be an assassin without morals.

Kickass doesn’t. If anything the fight scenes are full of so many stupid choreographic moves that would get the characters killed, the set physics of that world are destroyed, and wait a rocket pack? Anyone that actually saw the film is probably wondering what Kickass coated his suit in so his butt didn’t catch on fire. This movie is not worth my share of the almighty dollar, the comic book s aren’t. In general, I don’t read or pay for anything with Mark Millar as the writer or creator. This will only continue until he learns how to write past a formulary, past the patriarchy, and with in the boundaries of what makes a Superhero SUPER.

Oh and if you have seizures, they use a strobe light in the film to try and make the fight scenes look cooler after they go video game baiting in one of the “climactic” scenes that felt so anticlimactic for those people I know.

So to recap, Movie bad. Mark Millarr is a hack. He hasn’t written anything I can think of that didn’t scream, “Hollywood, make me a movie because I am a pile of Cliche! Steaming RIGHT HERE!” This is just my opinion of course. An opinion I will back with my money and my mouth. Millar, if you want to ever have a write off let me know. Here’s your Corkscrew of Justice, you know where to shove it.

When I break things in I really break them!

I am learning about my limitations this week. Tomorrow the repair man comes for my chair again. Before you panic I will relay what I was told on the phone by the company. This is normal! The chair comes to the company prebuilt, and this means any fiddly bits that are loose won’t get found out until I get it. They do check the chairs but heavy use vs a test drive means that this is normal.

My poor chair… it has scraped up paint from my barely fitting in my door way, the seat belt fell off, the headrest lost it’s ability stay up, and the chair keeps getting stuck randomly and spins it’s wheels without moving. All of this is the result of my going out and down the road. I would go on side walk but the side walks here don’t all have curb cuts! My next project. I am relieved though, that this is normal. I wondered if I was somehow being too hard on this chair when I am doing my best to treat her like she’s a spun glass ornament. Fragile, in need of preservation.

I mentioned my care routine for the chair to the guy on the phone (I forgot his name) and he was impressed. Apparently most people don’t check their chair for any oddities every day, they don’t try to avoid walls (I disbelieve this one) and not everyone charges their chair nightly. I do. This chair is my ticket out of here. Here being right at my computer desk praying that I don’t have to access the HDD where it will skip. I’ve found I cannot watch movies with Media player but I can with Divx for example.

When my chair refuses to go, I get scared. I start imagining horrible things, and to be honest I have yet to shake off the feeling that the front door is too much to pass. I hear Gandalf the Grey in my head. “YOU SHALL NOT PASS.” Each glance at the door, there is the whisper. I may never leave if this chair breaks. I consider this a side effect of disability and likely this is linked to my PTSD and the recent abuses.

I will pass the door, I am going outside at least once a day. Plus I need an excuse to wear a fantastic hat! If anything I am rebelling against my own fears each time I go out. This isn’t a bad thing but it can be a bigger challenge than I am prepared for. I almost went out yesterday for a walk but I was too afraid. So I sat in my yard and stared up at the sky, and I wished for a butterfly to take my wish to the stars.

No butterflies but the moon rose in the afternoon and I felt peace again. I haven’t seen the moon in a long time, and I have missed her. I know as the sun grows hotter I will spend less time outside in the day and will sit in my yard at night with a cup of tea studying the stars. The divinity of the sky has always felt peaceful to me.

I worry that tomorrow the repair man will somehow deem me unworthy of my chair. Logically, this is not how this will go but I have a lot of unfounded fear. The recent experience of no pain meds has also left me with a shaky sensation in my emotional heart. My physical heart feels fine but my emotional heart is tempted by fear.

I know a life time of fear and I have either overcome or accepted the things that scared me as a child, some I am working on still but this new fear has the potential to cripple me where other things have not. If I let the fear of pain that has seeded itself in me win I won’t move, I won’t breathe deep and I won’t sing. A part of me feels broken, but I know that part of me is merely bruised and that bruise overlays old wounds.

I am breaking in my freedom, and Freedom won’t break on me. I keep telling myself this. Yet when I prepare to go out I have to check over a list of what feels like a thousand things just in case my body breaks down. Epipen, inhaler, cellphone, sunscreen, hat, sunshade, kitty cat, cat food, water for her, drink for me… the list goes on and on and on..

So in the end I am left to see that despite parts being loose or breaking under the strain of normal use I am not broken. I must remind myself that if my chair cannot handle going to places I have to go, then something needs to be fixed and it isn’t my life. I have waited patiently for over five years for freedom. I have fought tooth and nail for freedom. I have split myself into parts to survive being penned up. Now I can fly free, and it is time to take the kid gloves off. I will still care for my chair but my chair must care for me.

I am Kateryna Fury and I have the capacity to overcome great fear. (Green Lantern reference for the non nerdy among you.) It is through my will, my hope, and my dreams that I will over come this fear. Why fear pain? I know pain intimately. The pain that destroys me can only win if I let it. I did not let it, so why let the fear of this pain grasp me? Why fear being stuck inside? I have spent years stuck inside. Is it truly being inside I fear or is it now a fear of what I have forgotten, what I have missed and being lost in the big world? Why fear the risk of the sun or my body failing? Won’t the risk come to me if I try and avoid it?

I think I’ll go for a walk now. I must see the sky and the sun. The fear has been broken.

It is Coming…

Alright readers, I have debated asking you for help for a while. You see my computer is old, and I have known for some time that it was getting a bit worn down. I am a bit rough with my technology when it comes to use but I offer high levels of care that balances that out.

This computer came to live with me a year after Sprite. That makes it five years old. Five in computer years is quite a lot, but this would mean nothing if it was an upgradable machine. My computer is an XPS One, and there is no room to upgrade things. This was not a computer I would normally choose, though I do enjoy the quality of screen and sound. In fact this computer has gone above and beyond many of it’s brethren.The average life span of a single unit computer (especially this model) was one year.

My hard disk has begun to skip. The tech savvy among you are now hanging your heads in horror. It is a consistent skip. At least once a day it goes. Further more the XPS fans have gone out, and they aren’t replacable without my calling in a tech.

Here is what I am asking for. I am asking for some help replacing it. I found some very good deals on Newegg. I am talking computer systems that if you built yourself would run you into two thousand range. My goal is to raise 1000 dollars.

This will cover a new monitor (since this is a built in I cannot reuse the monitor), I am going to get one that will last. This will cover a computer that is upgradable and also has enough power already with in the system so that I won’t have to upgrade for a very long time. Also a sizable HDD since I already have three and a half terrabytes full and was eyeing another one already.

Now, my plan is to send everyone something once they donate. It will take time (and a computer that doesn’t die in the middle of creation) but I am going to create a piece of digital art for my donors. Once this is created (it is in process now) I will also put up a sample. Secondarily I am working on selling the scooter so that I can buy the system.

Here is the chip in. It is the exact same link as was given earlier this year for any donations you felt like, so there is no set fundraising limit or goal. I am recycling!

If my computer dies before I manage a replacement I will not abandon you, I will find a way. There is a laptop that works for about an hour a shot, and I can always pop a post out that way or I can see about the library once I have transport. So don’t worry. I just realized however, that I should and can ask for help.

I appreciate knowing that I can ask for help, and I have to say it, Newegg.com has some really good deals. I may even have enough left over for a wireless trackball and keyboard, but my priority right now is making sure I have a way to stay connected to the world with or without working wheelchair.

Excitementing Oh mah gosh!

The gate is finally exitable! This officially occured yesterday. There have also been ramp modifications so if I move the joystick wrong ie spasm, seizure, or human error I am not falling off of things. My sun shade is as always full of shady goodness and the flea market, my consistent destination had some fun deals.

I got a hat. Specifically I have a very high quality fedora, brand new. It goes with several of my favorite outfits and Fedora = Classy right?

I just got home and am reveling in the cool of the AC and I am a bit amused with my day. I did already have to put in a call with the repair shop, it seems rattling over uneven ground makes problems for my chair. The head rest is down by my butt (not a joke) and the chair doesn’t seem to ever want to go straight. In my small apartment this was noticable but I thought it was just me. In the big ol world? Nope. It goes left or right but not quite straight.

I did not take Sprite with me, but I did take my caregiver. I didn’t get any allergen exposure except water which some guy was spraying on people. That felt a bit weird but the weird was lost (as was my buying a pretty butterfly pin from him) as I zipped away. Freedom is good. The sun is hot though…

I think I sunburned my toes because I left my shoes at home. I don’t wear them on a regular basis inside and I forgot about them. I also got an iron, a much needed tool for sewing purposes for three dollars. This iron is at least as good as new. No rust, a few minor scratches from buttons, but it was a great deal.

The deal of the day however is… a porcelain bell from prewar Japan! I saw this as we came through the gate, I lifted it, checked the makers mark and the seller said “That’s a quarter.” I handed him a dollar and took the bell and my change before he could change his mind. It’s beautiful, and I am joyous at it’s entry to my home.

I have missed the air, the sun and the sky. I have missed the breeze on my flesh, the droning voices of the passerby. I have missed the freedom. Shackles unbound as legs unwound. I have stared for a life time out a plate glass prison, wishing and hoping and dreaming. Now the moon has risen and shares the sky with the sun and I feel joy for I can see both and so my heart dances.

It is my truest wish that everyone has a moment of nonsense. You see nonsense isn’t a bad thing. It is merely a moment where nothing matters, there is no fear, no hunger, no pain, no worry. Just a moment of being. This is my sharing my moment of nonsense with you. My definition of the word nonsense comes from non, meaning no and sense. It is a moment without sense. It is a moment without sensing. No sensation. Nonsense. Nonsensical may be seen as silly by some but oh, the freedom in a moment where there is no need for sensation or sense.

Plus, I have a really cool hat.

Catnip: Lobo Anime and Comics

Lobo Anime and Comics is Located at : 1016 Juan Tabo Boulevard Northeast Albuquerque, NM 87112

Their Phone Number is: 505-332-0499 (May be updated if this is an old article)

What Makes them so Awesome?

I haven’t had such good customer service as with this shop. Anywhere. Ever. Not only is this one of only TWO accessible comic book stores, but it is one that has windows, treats their customers so well that it is impossible for me to bedrugde them my dollars that I can spend there, and they work with Comixology, a pick up service that lets me do shopping before I send either a carer or go in the manual chair (Gate and Paratransit access pending at the time of this writing).The other comic book store shall remain nameless because they don’t treat people well and their selection also pales in comparison.

They have a website that could use some professional touches, but over all isn’t so bad that it makes me not want to shop there. This is also where I go to see the Batmobile annually. This comic shop is one that I treasure. Not only do they announce their sales with about two weeks notice, sometimes more, but they throw events. This shop is where I met some of my fantastic artist friends like the ArtAssassin (You can and should google him, he’s a fantastic artist and a real sweetheart). Every year on Free Comic Book Day they give more than just comics. I came away from FCBD with a few things I had wanted but hadn’t been able to give in on because of sales, and they also enabled my purchase of a Batgirl statue which is my birthday present to me.

What makes them deserving of my rare praise for a shop of able bodied people? It isn’t their mom and pop status. It isn’t their customer service. It isn’t their accessibility. It’s what they do beyond those things. Every year they sell hot dogs on FCBD, with relish. Which could send me into anaphalactic shock. This year I decided to call in and let them know. Their accomodation of my need was something that went beyond reasonable, they pulled the hot dogs away from the lone ramp (not their fault) and also made sure that there was extra room on the side walk for manuevering a chair since last year my ogre of a scooter made things beyond difficult. Then to top it off the relish bottle stayed closed and as far from people as possible. I still had a little reaction this year but that is because of people eating the hot dogs and daring to breathe. Since I wouldn’t want them to suffocate I took my allergy pills before and during the event and was prepped with several epipens ready to stab me if I needed them.

It gets better. Since they use Comixology and I can pick things up, I often have to call them and ask them to wait a bit longer with my hold items and they always do. Today I called in and they let me know about a minor error on my order (in my favor no less) and this really means that my statue is THERE. Right now. I can hardly wait to get down there (possibly Friday) but this shop will hold my items until I can because I let them know I am having some transportation challenges. My goal once I have paratransit is a minimum monthly trip, because I want to support this shop. This means I will spend about five dollars minimum getting there and home and around five in the store. Okay so maybe two in the store on the Birds of Prey series but my goal is five! I mean a girl has to get her Oracle and Batman fix right? Plus every so often there is a Batman in the store!

For Albuquerque New Mexico there is really only one place for any true believer, nerd, geek, comic book fan, anime geek, or admirer of graphic novels to shop and that would be Lobo Anime and Comics!

(Trust me on this, their prices are also usually much lower than listings on the internet, there is no shipping, and with my rarely met standards being surpassed you know this is THE best shop in the state, possibly the entire multiverse.)

Pictures from Free Comic Book Day 2010 at Lobo Anime and Comics (yes that chair IS as uncomfortable as it looks):

Kat Fury with Iron Man beside her and another Iron Man Behind her. The first iron man is very adorable and is around four years old. Kat Fury and Batman infront of the 1960s Batmobile. Batman has his cape stretched out behind both people.

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