The Benefit Of Being a Bitch (Trigger Warning)

So much for not posting, I was actually about to lay down in bed but between fireworks and having to turn out the lights I am sitting in the dark. I read a post on Bad Cripple and tried to reply. Google broke Blogspot apparently, so I no longer can post there. However, I also wrote a long reply and realized, I need to write more than what I did and more clearly.

The basic question asked in this post by the eloquent owner of Bad Cripple is this: Does it cause more harm or help at all to be rude right back to bigots?

The words that snapped into place and gave me my aha moment slithered into my brain through a filter of my memories. I thought about each time I was told I am bad, have an attitude, or the people that censure my shopping. I thought about the Walmart that fears my entry because I make managers cry when I point out their ineptitude.

For me, it does not matter how I respond to these adults because nothing I do will change that they see me through a stereotype. If I do nothing or if I shout, they will see me either as the poor wittle cripple or the angry cripple. Some may see me as an inspiration because I like to buy my own groceries or DVDs. The reason I want to say something to them is because they are bigots and have dehumanized me through their actions.

Over the last few years I also noticed it costs me less in the way of energy and sorrowful feelings if I snap back at them. I don’t curse often, I rarely yell, but I will let venom enter my tone of voice. I will use the facial expressions that I am told make me scary. Good. I should scare you if you are a bigot because if you are a person with power like the Mayor, I will tear you into little pieces and feed you to my inner dragon.

I know this reaction of fear is based on my rocking the boat. Okay, so I don’t rock the boat. I tip it over and then hit you with the paddle.I am incapable of being subtle. I use this to my benefit. Aside from the Walmart that now adds to their cultish morning ritual a statement about service animals and treating the disabled just like any other customer (something I actually saw or I would not have believed) and the warning about the red head with the cat (also saw and laughed which made the manager jump. Not my fault they did this in the shoe department and I needed a pair) there are other instances when my reactions to hurt feelings have instantly or over the long term been beneficial.

The foremost is a story I have told here before, I think. The post may be under lock down for reasons of my personal safety or it is there and I just missed it. In the bookstore, directly after a woman tried to talk to me as if I was two (while I am looking at books with such biiiig words in them) and I upset her so badly she then later ran into a police car, I met the woman who was going to kill herself and her daughter. This fact stuck with me. This was the moment when I realized that each person that figures out “Oh this person is valued” matters. I don’t seek to educate them, I still think just living should do that all on it’s own. I remember however the desperation. I remember this woman’s terror.

I saw her latch on to me. I saw her notice Sprite and the usual questions and confusion. Then she broached the taboos and we talked death and suicide. I was actually suicidal at that moment, this is the part I usually leave out. I knew I didn’t have to tell her her daughter was a person, but I felt that it was best for me. Not for them. If I did nothing to help this woman, would I forever think on that moment and would I weep for the lives that I did not spare?

Yep. I am sure that it shows often in my writing that I truly feel pain on behalf of the world and the ills that befall others. I cannot seem to change this, and I mourn constantly. I also feel joy for the world as well. It is a balance of emotions but at times it adds the weight of the world to me. It adds obligation. I wanted to scream at this woman and I admit I did snap at her several times in the conversation. By the end of the evening, she was willing to live and was excited to help her daughter live.

They travel the world now, living. Rolling. Walking. Doing. Acting. Being. Living.

I remember each child that has been in awe of my chair and asked really wonderful questions. The sort of questions that show the amounts of damaging messages that they have yet to receive. There was one boy that stopped me in Walmart and told me his father was going to have a chair, this was the last time I went actually, and he asked me if it hurt. He and I only had a few moments to talk but I answered all of his questions. I didn’t lie. I told him the chair helps my pain but I do hurt, all the time. Sometimes I can’t hug people because I hurt but I still love them and I am still me. I told him too that without using this chair I couldn’t go and do anything, but with it I can go to school, I can visit my friends, and I can buy my cat toys. Sprite was not with me but I mentioned service animals anyway. The last thing he said to me before he went to catch up to his mother was special. “Thanks. You’re like an angel but better because flying is scary.” He followed that up with something just as sweet, “I just got a puppy, I’m going to teach my puppy how to do stuff like turn off the lights for my dad and when I grow up I’ll be a doctor so I can make pain go away, then if you want to go out you can still roll but not hurt.”

The idea presented wasn’t to cure me but instead to help me. I told him I like my chair and that having this chair is the best thing in my life, as I needed one long before I broke my back. I told him the truth that sometimes I still can walk but it hurts so much that I faint, and then I get hurt. His father was shot. This son is scared. This brave boy decided he needed answers and he wanted them from someone who obviously knows something about chairs.

I will never forget him, and I hope to see him again and perhaps his father. I think his mother listened, but she said nothing. I told the boy when he can he should learn about all of the laws regarding race, accessibility, and make sure his father knows them too. He didn’t ask why but nodded and said, “Yeah, that’s a good idea. That way no one can do bad things and lie.” The very reason that he should know these laws.

These are the rare examples when I don’t have to snarl to be heard. Most often I end up snarling at the doctor’s office with other patients who think they should touch me with their germ ridden hands. Is it any wonder that I am not sick nearly as often when I avoid the doctor’s office? My last visit to my previous doctor felt like something snapped. Since that day I have not once bothered to phrase things nicely, and i am no longer apologizing for taking up space. I don’t ignore the bigoted comments because it hurts me to do so. I saw it made no difference but instead allowed these people to keep pushing me.

I got the same old lines, “I bet that goes fast.” “Oh gee how do I get one of those?” “You don’t look like you need that chair.” “You have such bad attitude.” The last one is when I finally told the person to shut up. I didn’t curse, but I made it clear that since I am a person, not their play thing they can shut up and read a book or something else instead of dehumanizing me, annoying the crap out of me, and saying the same uncreative and exceedingly ridiculous lines as every other peon of the system that came before.

Being nice didn’t fix Walmart. Being seen as a bitch did. I would rather be a bitch and feel empowered than to stay silent or be nice and have things stay the same. I learned by showing my offense and anger people do actually learn. Some write it off as the stereotype of the angry cripple, but they wrote me off already. The most harm I do is not opening their closed clamshell minds. The worst thing I can do is be silent.

Everyone has their own ways of showing anger, mine is varying between quite anger and an out and out growl. If someone touches me I will twist their arms away and cause them pain. I say no and stop first. Then I get physical. I only punch people if pushing them away does not work. When they complain I point out that for me to reach them, especially with limited arm mobility (it’;s not as bad as others but it is there) then they are in my space and are violating me personally by touching.

I don’t go to places like churches, I don’t go to the health food store, but I never did before. I stopped before I accepted that I am disabled because I felt like trash based on their words anyway. I have found of all the responses that are now cliches for me and creating a stereotype of the able bodied lunkhead the one that earns the most venom is “That isn’t very Christian of you.”

That’s the one where I get mean and there is no benefit. I have practiced my responses now to most cliches. I have my cutting come backs but for that one the answer is, “I wouldn’t want to be a good Christian if it meant acting like you.” The people then clutch their pearls and stagger off in horror. Though they do that no matter what my actual reply is.

There are moments when people get a second helping of Kat’s brand of verbal whipping. The second helping comes with statments like “Oh damn it’s mad.” I am a human. The reply there (and for some reason this is used often) is “That’s because this human noticed something stupid. Oh it’s you, opening your mouth.” Not helpful, but it does make those Walmart employees behave. When I am called an it, or someone removes groceries from my bags and doesn’t allow purchase, they get to see me very angry. Most often this is a employee, so sometimes they get fired. Okay, each time they screw with my groceries it’s a firing or else. Else is also clearly defined by my right to sue them for discrimination.

So mix it up, do what you have to do but it’s okay to be a bitch.

REM Sleepwagon!

I am exhausted all of the time. I see the world sometimes through a hallucenation caused by the lack of sleep. Those are way more fun than PTSD overlap or other scary things. When it is just a lack of sleep everything looks better. My hair for instance is not short but a loooong princess’s hair in blazing red. My clothing all look like gowns with beautiful gems. The way I would dress if it were wheelchair friendly (working on modifying my actual gowns, though I still need to get me some gems to encrust them with.) Sprite and Nymph look the same, maybe a bit sparkly. Everything looks great. Physically it feels like crap.

I haven’t been sleeping, my body sleeps but my mind sits and spins in a cycle of thought, I am trapped there. I don’t know what is keeping me there because it isn’t pain this time. It could be PTSD. I think it is, but without sleep it gets harder to think, harder to feel. I can’t feel the music today and that composition job is waiting for me. I need to get to work on it but I can’t. My hands are tied by a need for REM.

I dreamed two nights ago or I would be approaching a psychotic state. I know after two weeks of no REM I enter psychosis. The glitter is a warning sign, and yet I miss it today. There is something stressful, besides PTSD and fireworks going off at odd hours. The last dream I had was a twisted nightmare however. Not only does the body use the dream state to process things our subconscious cannot quite grasp but dreams also are a relaxation period and some down time. By not dreaming I am not letting my brain rest and I reach burn out very quickly. That is another reason that I am taking time off, as much as I can. My brain is screaming with ideas and if I wrote even a third of them down I’d have my hands fall off from exhaustion.

I know it is a painful choice to curl away from creative outlets in the hope that I fall asleep from exhaustion or am satiated, but I know that is not the healthy one. I would rather fall asleep and dream instead of pushing myself until I am at the edge of collapse. I dream either way, eventually but with one there is the promise of nightmares and physical sickness, and with the choice I am making I may still have both but there is the chance I won’t have to have terror fueled dreams.

I used to have nightmares every time that I dreamed. In fact, it reached a point where I started altering my dreams consciously. I am not sure if the nights when I know I am asleep but am still thinking and imagining my stories, something to entertain me while I lay there for a few hours in boredom, or the skill to dream lucidly came first. I just know that when I talked about it I ended up in a mental hospital. That’s right, my mother and her army of brainwashers, I mean therapists… well they decided to try and control even what I dreamed. It wasn’t enough to alter me in the day, but they wanted to take away my nights.

I didn’t dream for almost a year because there were rules set on my dreams. I chose to not dream. If I started to dream I woke myself up. This is why I know I can run on no sleep. This is also why I know the symptoms of psychosis so well. That was the time when I was put on antipsychotics that toxified my body. I think those drugs gave me the water and sun allergies as they came at the same time, but there is no definitive there as I was also in puberty. My body was changing, and being violated even by FDA standards which are not as tight as they should be.

I sit here longing for dreams, when once I fled from them. I find this a bit odd. It feels a bit like a partial plot in a bad romance novel. My good dreams may qualify as nightmares for some people though. I like to fight in my dreams. I am the heroine, beaten, bloodied, and almost broken. The enemy thinks I am defeated then I find with in myself the power. It is sometimes more strenghth, sometimes a sword that I find laying on the ground, or a bit witchbladey one with in me, other times it is my companion (Sprite as a Dragon, who doesn’t love that?). Most often it is the power of my words.

My word power took over as the weapon of choice in my dreams some time after I turned 21. I stopped trying to just kill and destroy my enemies (Father mostly) and talked to them. I argued with the recordings and PTSD in the form of abject evil allegory (though I retain my disabilities despite the Sci Fi fantasy cliches). I won the arguments. Again and again. I chose to live at this time too. There is a direct correlation between my dreams and my unpacking of privilege as well.

So I want it. I want to dream. Even if it means sometimes I have nightmares, I dream. I never used to have the good dreams, where I was running from something, and turned to fight. I used to just die over and over because Daddy loves me. Those dreams await me due to the high PTSD risk right now, but I can take them on. If I can stop thinking long enough to dream, I can do anything.

The Quickening and Bodily Betrayal (Trigger Warning)

I am writing this post to discuss sensory overload and internal causes, because I don’t think I have read about how sometimes everything can be normal but the changes in your body can create that sense of overload where you can’t think through it all. I am approaching that point. For the last week I haven’t dreamed, I have “slept” in a fashion but it was with an utter awareness that matches being awake and my thoughts were quick and would not cease. Music did not help. Silence did not help. Feline snugglings did not help. I knew that something was coming. It was one of three things. My period, which despite the diagnosis of menopause does actually come every few year to harass me. I ate bad food and was having a minor allergic reaction. This is more common but usually lasts a shorter time. The Third? Pain. My pain isn’t as under control as I would like but it gets way worse before I enter this state.

Today the first signs of a week of hell began. Little pains that shoot down my legs. That smell that no one else smells. I think it’s the hormonal changes but I smell different and I don’t like it. Everything is louder, smellier, and in general quite awful. The cats are also reacting to the quickening inside my body. Sprite knows this is a horrible time and is very angry at me, as she has been the last few times. Yet when I am stuck in bed later this week she will be with me, warming me and soothing me.

Every time I have had my period it creates challenges.A component of this is multiple triggers with my PTSD. For one I have to deal with my body and fluids, which is unpleasant with in the sensory perspective and can trigger random flashes of bad things. For two I almost always have this issue during July, which is one of the two months of the year when I have a lot of trouble with PTSD due to the fireworks and the whole attempted murder and saying No to my father thing. There are a few others but those are the big two. The third trigger is the pain.

I know cramps hurt everyone. This is indicated by the number of drugs sold to make them better. For me there is no treatment. Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease and Endometriosis meant that this was how my period was before my spinal injury, though the muscles that flex during each cramp trying to push the wasted flesh out of my body also overlap the injury. I used to save my sickdays every year just incase this occurred. My period disabled me long before anything else.

There are other stresses this week, and having known that this challenge was coming I admit that I second guessed myself with every emotional response in the previous month. I wish that they had been wrong because that would be convinient. Alas, no such luck. So there are other things that I am not going to talk about going on.

This next week is doubly challenging because there are things I have to do myself. I have to be hands on for a good portion of the week. Then, there is the potential of interviewing the new Weekend Caregiver. I just have to trust that I can manage it all, because so far this first day has been less dramatic than before. I am mostly enjoying the stormy weather and the soulful music that is springing forth to hide those first firecracker explosions.

I have nightmares through out the rest of the year or three years after each time I have had my period, relating to this occurance. I do not think it is internalized self hatred about my menses, because there aren’t demons in my crotch in these dreams. Instead I dream that the pain doesn’t end and every sound is getting louder and louder until I panic and somewhere when I must not scream, I cannot stop it. I want to but the control is lost.

I don’t know if this is a universal issue with every Autistic female but I know that my senses feel all things in an overloaded and “wrong” way. This means the food I eat has to be adapted. None of my usual food will actually work as with every chemical reaction in my body there are concequences. I do have the benefit of knowing however that my pain meds will work just fine.

I may not write again until this issue is passed, just because for me it is a huge issue and I spend most of this time glaring at my ceiling and trying to find any gods I can recollect that are ANTIFertility gods. I am happy with the over all sterility of my body, I know that the less periods you have the greater your risk of uterine and ovarian cancer but as always my body doesn’t follow the rules. I was biopsied a year ago today and the results were startling. My uterus is healthy, no signs of abnormalities, my ovaries are still borked but no signs of cancer there. This was so shocking to the specialist that she told me she flat out expected at least some sort of atrophy. Nope. Despite everything being backwards, at least my insides are not rotten (except where they are but we don’t count that for this conversation *pokes at her intestines and glowers* Durned thing).

I know that I was always told after it was made clear that my reproductive organs are shoddily made and resemble a haunted house what with the cobwebs and dust, that my period should be a celebration as proof I am a woman. I find this ludicris. This was a doctor, my mother, and several other women. This implies that the only thing I am good for is making babies. Sorry but no. Not only would they be broken but I wouldn’t live to teach them how to live with their genetically screwed bodies. Doesn’t sound peachy or keen to me!

I am going to sneak out to one of the stores and spend some money on edibles and absorbables. See you when my body is done trying to function normally. May yours function as is best for you, screw normal

Kalifla’s 5’s and Dimes (A Music Review)

Today I went to the Fair Grounds and had an interesting adventure. Between the usual wares and the people selling pirated music I found a gem, I met Otisha and LB who were both working on a tour to promote their music. I went ahead and picked up a CD, though I’d had to head back to the house because I hadn’t brought enough money with me and I’d bought something already. They weren’t asking a lot but I felt I should give them more than a dollar for their hard work. I wish I could’ve given more than I did.

Before I review the music I want to talk about the people. Not only are they very friendly but when we were talking I enjoyed the intelligence that they both held. We talked about Jazz, despite the CD I am reviewing being Hip Hop and Rap. Some one who is a regular on this blog just burst out laughing as they read that but I actually do listen to a lot of rap, I just tend to move away from Mainstream and especially avoid Gangsta because of the often abusive lyrics.

I am not going to discuss the sociological issues with this CD, but instead I am going to talk about the music. This is because as a mainstream hip hop CD with an attempt at a break out these musicians are going to be singing in ways that are derogatory about women and I expect a lot of internalized racism. I have other posts about that, and I knew going in that there wasn’t likely to be much beyond what I perceive as the norm for this genre.

This is where I was surprised. SHARON’S BOYZ MUSIQ GROUP Presents Kalifla’s Five and Dimes Volumn #2 has some standard beats. The lyrics themselves are given with great talent. The harmonies are solid. I do think the group should invest in a better synthesizer as often the synth defeats them by sounding cheap. Their voices are rich and pleasing. This shows most on the song that for me stood out from the rest. This song is special in that it isn’t about women, it isn’t about sex, it isn’t about money, but it is one of the best love songs I have ever heard. I don’t like most love songs but when your love song is dedicated to your children and is essentially a lullabye that you share with them and the world so that they know you love them even as you travel to try and work? That sort of song is awesome. I wish I could tell you what it is called by the CD doesn’t come up when I hunt for it’s data online and doesn’t have a track listing.

This leads me to the challenge of presentation with a CD such as this. While the music is quality I believe that the producers would benefit from using CD Baby (CDBaby.com) to add more of an internet presence for their artists. This service also includes online sales, and being added to ITunes as well as the general CD Database which is where Media player gets the CD track information from. CD Baby also can provide you with CD production services, though depending on the size of the group this may not be worth it. The CD came in a jewel case with a good cover, though again the cover could benefit from someone like myself who can alter the photo values and make it look on the quality of the bigger groups. This adds to the professionalism.

Would I recommend this CD to my friends? That depends… do you enjoy Hiphop? Yes? Then absolutely. Do I think that there is room for improvement? Yes. Out of five stars here are my ratings:

Music Quality: 3.5, a half is definitely lost to the rough synth sounds.
Music Originality: 3 (This means it’s average with in the industry)
CD Sound Quality: 4.5
CD Presentation: 2

I do think that this group has the potential to succeed in the music industry, and by doing the foot work to build a fan base they adding to their own success. With Books and Music you must reach out and get the word out that you exist.

Their Myspace Page

I was told that they are having a concert on July 3rd, the details SHOULD be present on this page. If they aren’t and you want to attend please let me know and I will find out the exact details for you. I also want to add that when I mentioned I would review the CD the response was “I look forward to reading your review no matter what it is.” So good or bad, the producers and this group are out for people to hear them, another sign for their longevity.

What Defines New Mexico? (Trigger Warning)

This post is going to make the New Mexico Tourism Board cry. As Nymph runs off after startling me because she jumped up into my lap and I laugh, my brain still turns and mulls over what created me as I am. As a person born in New Mexico, a person that has never left this dusty state except to go over the border into Mexico for a mile (it all looked the same, I got lost and it doesn’t count if I don’t know I left the country on purpose) I have a perspective on New Mexico that can be broken down as follows..

1. Education
2. Poverty
3 Religion
4. Healthcare

These four things combine to make New Mexico an unpleasant place to live. I hear so often how nice it is to visit my state, how beautiful it is, and how neat it is that all of the natives sell their homemade crafts at the various squares for thousands of dollars. That’s the tourism factor. New Mexico has great places to visit, places I enjoy. I love so much of the history and lore here. I revel in reading about Billy the Kid, in knowing that I have been in places that this young man had.

New Mexico has yet to stop being the wild west. The same mentality that created the gun fighter out of the ex soldier (That would be the James Gang lead by Jesse and his brother) on through the modern gangster there is an element of hopelessness in this state. It may have been here before the Civil War, but New Mexico is not a place that is nice to live.

When you are a tourist it is easy to avoid the areas where people actually live and work outside of the glossy tourist shops. It is easy to see the big expansive sky, the glorious mountains, and even our gun fighter reenactments that happen every weekend in Old Town. It is easy to be sucked up by the dust and the wind, to feel for a moment you are somewhere else. Tourists are guided to specific areas JUST for this effect. Every city and place does this so that their dirty laundry is not aired.

New Mexico is not accessible for wheelchair users. When you visit in a chair you will find that downtown has great curbcuts and… that is it. A small section of the sidewalk is accessible, if you leave the Tourist Safe Zone you will be stuck. Even there you will be treated like garbage by the mindless peons of this state. They are educated to hate you, tourist, regardless of disability or no.

New Mexico has a long history of religious intolerance. This started back when Cortez rode through and spread disease looking for Eldorado. When you come and look at our history reveling in the ruins of churches, you are reveling in the murders of people. With that conquest came racism. The people of this state who claim they are Mexican are actually descendants of the first European rape marriages of the native daughters. This was done not out of love, no one married out of love before the Victorian period, but out of power. If you take their wives and daughters, you exterminate them. The devout Catholics could be practicing a variety of earth based religions, but most of their culture was beaten away or burned away. The chiefs and medicine men were killed over and over again. The image we have of the indigenous people also known as Indians, Native Americans, or first nations, this image is a construct by the first conquerors. This image is what tourists come to see.

Through the school system that we have currently, the children are taught to worship the conqueror. Those that can read will read books that talk about how impressive it was that these men brought horses, guns, and that yes a few of the First Nations died because of disease but Cortez didn’t really mean it, so that makes it okay. It was just an accident. The germs may have been accidental but pretending to be a deity was not. That was a conscious choice. Turning on the people that embraced these European WHITE men because of their difference? That was an act of hatred.

When you come to New Mexico as a tourist and are frustrated with your potentially not white counter clerk’s inability to count out your change properly or their not really smiling or enjoying their menial labour? You are feeding off of a centuries old hate crime. New Mexicans of color (Hispanics, Blacks, First Nations, etc) are given a poorer education. There are schools for the white children such as Saint Prius where if you can pay for the education or are smart enough you get in. in the Cities the education is better, but with a state that is made up of rural regions most of the people who come to the city as adults are not well educated or are from out of state taking advantage of the economic opportunity presented to them by the lack of local applicants that are qualified to do this job.

In the rural areas, especially Estancia (The worst school district in a state that is chronically the worst in the nation educationally) the teachers are often not certified. I haven’t checked since I escaped that school, but since a lot of the same teachers are there as when I went? You can BET that the teachers are either not caring, not qualified, or are the exception to the rule. There are a few of them and these people can make a difference in the education of a few students, but the majority in that area never learn to read, the focus is just on sports (though despite Brian Urlacker who is from Albuquerque not Estancia, this has never quite worked out for any of them). No one who leaves this small town returns. I did for a few months and that was under the guise of visiting and I got out again. The town is stagnant. The people never change. A few may come from outside, like my mother, but their children enter a society that is backwards. Anyone who was not born there is not accepted.

The culture here socially is also one of teen pregnancy. Abstinence only education as well as the idea that a penis will give you Aids (Not a lie but not a truth in how it is taught) lead many young women to being mothers. In Estancia every single girl in my graduating class was pregnant when I was 17 except for myself. Every single student is encouraged by the social culture to be sexually active. In a state wide experience as I have lived all over, I can tell you that girls are encouraged to become housewives and mothers. I suspect some of this is a national occurrence (This is according to an annual survey, the details of which have not changed enough to matter int he last few years. If anything the rate has increased). The system is set up so that it is almost impossible to become independent from these systems. With Welfare you are to hungry and tired from trying to work with your parents to learn. Every family dependent on Welfare that I know of is actually working to escape the need for assistance but with the set up that if you earn you lose the needed income so you can keep earning and eat, therefore it becomes a matter of starve or get off of welfare.

No one chooses poverty. No one chooses hunger. The image of the Welfare Queen of New Mexico interchanges one stereotype for another, and yet the one exception I know of to this rule is not a person of color but is a white person that feels entitled to not work. Parents with children struggle to better their education but this takes resources that we do not have. Each year education is cut, and each year it is the children who lose out. There are several remedial colleges in the area that help you learn the basics from elementary on through High school so you can get a degree, but this costs money and time. Not everyone has the time or money and many people here cannot qualify for federal aide because they do not have the knowledge to fill out the application.

This sends the locals flooding back to their churches. This state is stunted in many ways, and is so dependent on guidance from privileged white men or men who have fallen into the line of the Patriarchy and this leads to actions such as murder based on appearance, ability, sexuality and gender. This leads to people who may be declared a witch to actually be burned at the stake. Religion is used to prevent thought. When I was excommunicated from the Church, it was for asking questions to try and understand what I am being fed. This action is against the church and without education to encourage thought more people will not question. Questioning also takes energy and is a luxury in this state as if you are worked to the bone and exhausted there is no time to think. Church becomes a solace then, a place where you can dream of a heaven taht may or may not exist, where you can barter your soul on the chance that if you are a good enough person and suffer enough now you will not suffer when you are dead but oh you could be wrong.

This culture of underpaid labour is not at all threatened by immigration, when the children here are not educated enough to know their own legal rights when it comes to working. This means that there is a higher incidence of sexual harassment, dangerous working conditions, and those that speak up are more likely to be fired because they have no resources with which to fight back. In this culture that you visit and say is so wonderful, the people who are selling mass produced silverwork at a high price are doing this because this is all that is expected of them, and for many this is all they can do. Some do make their own jewelry but most of the merchants buy those works at a pittance of what you pay. There are some sellers that are reputable and will price their works fairly, but they often are told by you white tourists that this piece of jewelry must not be as good as the same one that costs YOU more at another store, you reveling in your privilege and showing your own lack of thought.

In New Mexico in these tourist areas people are often run down, because the worker there is not seen as a person but merely a prop to bring in your money to our state. People die because you choose to run them down out of the claim of being so tired from walking all over our cities on through you just not giving a damn. Yes sometimes it is a local driver that has mowed down a pedestrian but it is such a common occurrence that many people don’t notice anymore. The closer I am to a tourist spot the more likely I am to be killed.

With the movie industry coming to New Mexico there is another form of financial gain and another element of tourism. Our open spaces are now inundated constantly with the cameras. I fall prey at times to the excitement but now I am noticing that a large number of smart young people are choosing to try to get discovered instead of working or furthering their education. Hollywood is a shining element of fools gold showing a way out, that is another form of a trap. Such a low number of people actually become famous or rich, that this is creating another strain on the resources of the state. In order to not starve prospective actors and actresses turn to food stamps and state assistance or unemployment between gigs as extras. I consider periodically trying out for a space myself but it is always a choice between their privilege or my dignity. So I choose my dignity.

With so much hunger and often governmentally enforced squalor (Looking at you Denish and Richardson) where the funding is sent away from the programs that need it most and into cronies pockets the healthcare system is irrevocably broken. I am lucky enough that my insurance which often refuses me basic needs like medication forcing me into the hospital is here. Most New Mexicans will not recieve medical insurance until after the Obamacare plan has been enacted at it’s fullest. Then it is a matter of this plan being enforced, as enforcement is something you rarely see here unless it is law enforcement using their power to oppress a minority. The hospital connected to our University is never empty, the emergency room is always so full of the crushed and downtrodden humanity that people bleed to death in the emergency room before they are given care. People are dying there needlessly as there are only so many hands and many of them are simply students trying to learn the trade of medicine.

Between the countless malpractices, of which I am a victim, and misdiagnosis you will find mothers with screaming and sick children, people with a simple cold, and people that are dubbed homeless, pushed into a warm space by the lack of appropriate and accessible shelters. Between the dying are those who truly need a primary physician but they can get medical care in the ER and they cannot do so with a regular doctor because the fees are so high. If someone has the state’s Molina insurance they are forced into this system, and they may wait months before seeing a doctor. It is better to spend 48 hours in the ER than a month without care.

There are other hospitals, which I personally use but they often face the same problem. The overflow of emergency into their wards and those who want to try and avoid the crush of humanity at University of New Mexico Hospital enter these halls, it is the same. Long wait times, mass suffering, and the dying who would not be dying if they could just see a doctor on a regular basis. I am told there is no need for socialized medicine by you and those who can afford to travel, which denotes immediate privilege. I am told as you go to the nicest ER if something occurs on your trip that things surely are not this bad but this is my version of a happy tail for New Mexico.

The people are suffering, they are oppressed, and pushed down. The children do not know the benefits of education and are taught often with physical violence that questioning anything is wrong. It creates a mindless hive that is then sold to the consumer as an authentic culture. The authentic culture of the people here has been murdered long ago. Each time you come and consume us, you add into this even more. I know no one will stop coming after this, and yet there are things in this state beyond the borders of your safe tourism friendly areas that are fantastic and interesting. There are people here that are taught beliefs and educationally things that you see as archaic. You could explore the world of living anachronisms.

The people can be wonderful, sweet, charming, and amazing. The conversations you can have with some of the children and elders in my state about it’s history may disenchant you a bit, but isn’t this better than a ghost story that was manufactured for your fifty dollars? Wouldn’t it be better to hear about why the James Gang and Billy the Kid were seen as heroes from the descendants that still feel attacked, and rightfully so by the government?

What defines New Mexico is not the beautiful skies and wide open spaces that are nice to visit but instead is the massive amount of oppression, appropriation, and torture forced upon those born here. I have not spoken of the domestic violence culture that you are supporting by visiting… but it is a nice place to visit, so I hear. It would be better if it were a nice place to live.

Karma (Trigger Warning)

Do unto others as they shall do unto you. What goes around comes around. Karma in the western world has been described to be swift and almost instant. Traditionally as you trace it’s origin back Karma becomes something for the next life. If you work hard and are good in this life, in your next life you will have happiness, freedom from pain, and joy. You may end up as an animal. a bug, or a human. Humanity supposedly is the top of the spiritual totem pole before you reach ascension.

This is a super watered down explanation of Karma but without researching Karma itself and the religions that teach it, this is likely all you will learn. I have heard my entire life how evil I must be. In Christianity it was whispers about my mother, that she did something to deserve a heinous child like me. When I started practicing Buddhism and learning about every religion I could in my quest to find what I could believe in? I was told over and over I did something in my past life and this is part of my Karmic reward.

Horrible pain, repeat abuse, being treated as a subhuman. Yep. This is all self inflicted. I chose through actions that have been described to me as ranging from being a thief through murdering babies. The extremeness of the crime varying depending on whomever was trying to translate my Karma for me’s perspective on disability. Not once was I told anything good about me now. Based on past transgressions I am convicted without evidence, merely the hearsay of my spine and brain.

In this moment I am questioning my faith. I cannot stop it. I am angry with those who teach religion. Jaded16 posted a commentary on Womanist Musings about Shakti, which is power. She questions her religion. I have written countless times about how many times my asking questions to understand has caused others to reject me and now I am rejecting Karma. I do not believe that Karma is being taught properly.

For as long as I can remember I have loved before anything else. I have been swift to open my heart and even through the built up pain and the slow burning hatred of family that has developed, the distrust of others, I still love before all else. I tried to stop this once, and it nearly killed me. I don’t want bad things to happen to people. I work so hard to hide this part of me that I have a front of violence to protect my heart.

If I was born with this capacity to love, then how could I be some monster in a past life? Why would I be punished now when I love? This is not logical for me. I think of all the love I have tried to give or even just kindness, respect, or acknowledgment of humanity and all I have received from the majority is a statement that I am evil, a demon, or deserving of punishment.

Karma is disability hatred. Karma is being used as an excuse to debase people based on some small flaw, the flaw in the eye of the beholder. Karma is used to reject the fact that I am a person and it is used to excuse those that harm me.

Karma, I believe in some of the concepts but not that I am cursed by a past life. I cannot believe so and love myself. I am tired of feeling as if by feeling love I am going to be attacked. I can name many people I love, yet I cannot admit it out loud. I am so terrified that by loving someone or something it will either hurt me or be taken away that I can barely commit to a new cat in my life. The only reason I could do this was for Sprite’s well being. Even then I had a clause set out in case the commitment was too much. Incase I failed to love.

In my life I have had my defenses taken from me. I have been told many times to not fight back against oppressors lest they oppress me further. I have been told it is wrong to steal food when I am starving because I may go hungry in my future. There is no future if I am beaten to death or die from starvation. I have been told I am not a person because my body marks me as Other.

All of this under the word Karma. It is the same as when my father raped me in the name of the Christian God. God wanted him to wound me physically so that I now am worried about dating because I will have to explain the scars on the inside of my body if I allow another penis or fingers inside of me. If I make love to someone first I must expose my most vulnerable self to them in a way that I can barely write out. I must find those words and risk rejection because of our victim blaming rape culture.

When I am told that Karma will take care of those who wound me, I am being told that I shouldn’t bother trying to escape my “fate”. I am being told that I shouldn’t speak up. I am being told that I shouldn’t argue for my energy or health. I am being told that I am guilty if I do what is right for me.

I have realized more internalized abuse. I am too flexible with people, allowing them to stay in my life because they may suffer if I push back. Lately this has shown up clearest with caregivers. Each one has had an excuse for why it’s okay for me to be left in a state where it is clear they are not doing their job. “If you speak out my child will suffer.” “I will lose my job and have to quit school.” “It’s just this once, don’t say anything it was a mistake.” “If you report me, it’s bad Karma.”

Caregiverrs have said each of these things to me. Each one has goaded me because they are a human. I am expected to hunger, to feel pain, to lose things, to have my life be a shambles for their convenience. I am expected to pity my mother for choosing to eschew her education and her choice to embrace the very abuses that her own religion preaches instead of thinking. I am expected to pity someone for being less intelligent than I am.

I am tired of having to waste my energy on someone else’s conception of Karma. I no longer accept this entity called Karma. I will have another name for my beliefs. I wlll not accept the idea that your choices impacting you is my fault. I will not settle for second best. I am aware that I am intelligent and I will seek intelligence. If my body is in pain due to Karma, I did not deserve the abuses that put me into this state. It is the Karma waiting for others that they will face. It is my choice in how I deal with it but my disabilities are a marker of my survival. They are the war wounds of a soldier in a vicious battle that is pushed aside often for the comfort of others.

I am declaring war on this misinterpretation of Karma. No longer will I be told that this is my doing, that I chose to be beaten, starved, and broken. I will instead push those people away. I have people in my life like M that do not think I am a product of Karma, that love me. It is time for me to cut off people who aren’t worth my time.

I want to have more energy to talk with my friends, many of whom I have met through this blog. I want to have more energy to support them in their endeavors, and to succeed in my own. I want to have time to explore the world, and I want to have adventures again. I don’t give a (censored) about your feelings anymore abusers. I have to love me too. Loving me means leaving you to face your own version of Karma as cause and effect bite you in your butt. I will no longer deny that I like softer feelings of love, sometimes like pink, and truly relish my label of cat lady. I chose that label. I have desired it since I was a child.

I will embrace my creativity, even if it means someone is uncomfortable with what I choose to do. I will paint my walls red if I want to. I will sing. I will dance. I will not accommodate anyone else, because the people that matter don’t need accommodation that costs me anything and therefore I will meet their needs without even trying. I will not try and stretch myself to oblivion tolerating you. You can stay away unless you actually know how to learn. Only people who want knowledge are welcome in my life.

Connection

I feel the spider webs of life
I see the glimmer of dew
Illuminating
I see sister
I see brother
I see rainbows in their flesh
I am one they are another
Together we are life.
Connections
Whispers in the wind
Knowledge lost for centuries
Soon shall be known again
I see the dawn
I see the evening star
The Moon and Sun can share the sky
Connected, so we are.

I have been reading, thinking, struggling, breathing, existing, and praying today. It’s not a pain day but it’s not a good day. Somewhere in between the moments of fog I felt a spark. I felt a connection. I am reading about Kola Boof, I am reading her words and I feel that connection. Her words resonate down in my soul. I cannot claim sisterhood with her but I can claim she is human. She is a person. In reading her words I see someone who has known pain, hate, anger and also great love. I see something I can aspire for. I do not have to aspire for pain that makes people question the reality of your life but I can aspire to instead use my own healing to teach and grow.

I feel inspired, even as my body reaches for the shut down. Even as I have to put everything aside to rest. When I wake can I feel the spark of the story that I lost? Can I find the path again? I believe I can. When I wake I will resume doing as I have been, and fighting to cast off ignorance and to find the truth. Truths of the world and truths of who I am. Truth of music, Truth of light. I am drawn to the power of Kola’s words and to the truth that they bear.

I am drawn to the ideas, the whispers, and the shouting of victory, freedom, and I am drawn to the things that the media hides. I am drawn out, and I find myself with the spark. Soon the spark will flame, and I will write again and again, each word sharper than a sword to seek out the lies and purge them from my mind.

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