Fragility

I try to never admit that there are parts of me that are fragile, to myself. To you? Sure. There are very few things that I don’t write about, and the few things that I do not write about are either things that could endanger my safety or things that scare me too much to think about. Fragility is the only one that fits into that last category, at least when I admit the full grasp of the depths of broken that go along with my upbringing. I do not know how to mourn. I feel like something cracked deep down inside, it feels like an old wound and it is just there.

I know a huge contributor is my tears, they burn me. Why would I want to cry if it could end with me having blisters and no skin? It is unpleasant and yet I do cry sometimes. I am crying now. I amtrying to not cry infront of Ny because I don’t want her to be sad. Sprite is doing the same, a sort of clownish over playfulness that turns off the minute Nymph curls up in the bathroom or in bed. I told her flat out when we got home and I have never seen Sprite look so sad except for twice. When I was sick and almost gave up on living a year ago, just before I found my current home and when she was electrocuted and was on the edge of dying. Both are very good reasons to be sad.

Sprite is the only reason I didn’t kill myself and instead called just one more number. I had held the knife to my wrist and she let out this sad meow. It was so quiet I almost didn’t hear it but she didn’t say no, she didn’t say please, she said love. Sprite loves Nymph. I love Nymph. I want to be strong for Sprite and I don’t know that I can.

I am emotionally fragile. I talk about the whys a lot but not the actual inability to handle emotions. This is PTSD not Autism. I know that my actual processes if they were normal would be different but with PTSD there aren’t processes for emotions. There is numb and then this internal scream that won’t stop once numb goes away. When the scream stops, the emotions like grief are not really gone but they are smaller and the other emotions hide them.

This is why my mother told me I was a monster for obeying my grandfather and not crying for him after he died. His last words to me were, “Always sing, it makes everyone happy even if they lie and say they hate it, and never cry for me. I want to die, because I hurt and there is nothing left for me to do in my life.” He had cancer, and he did die of natural causes. I wanted the doctors to die too, I was so angry and I was told all grieving is are tears in public when everyone else dresses like a Goth.

I know better now, but I don’t have any real tools. I almost lost my cool today because I cried in public. I couldn’t hold the tears back until alone time, partly because the vet was on the verge of tears. This says nothing about their professionalism and everything about how amazing my cat is. She had the entire office wrapped around her tailtip with in minutes of our first visit. In fact, I felt safe enough to cry there and that is my vet’s office, forever and ever. Until I move like I always have sworn I will at least. Eventually I am going to write about palliative care and animals, because animals and the disabled get a short end of the stick on medical care. The very fact that the first thing my vet said to me was, “Okay, lets talk about how we can make her comfortable,” instead of the usual FIP line of, “Well nothing to do now, let’s euthanise” shows the very real difference in care that these people have.

Nymph has days to live, and yet I will always love her. This also confuses me. It always has. The first cat I felt this strongly for died from FIP, I was not home and I have to say I don’t know if my mother lied to me because the cat was symptom free, and she didn’t tell me for years what killed him. I still think an abusive husband did it to punish me for talking to the cats like a “weirdo”. He didn’t seem to understand that this cat, a wild cat that came to us with his sister both of whom despite being my sibling’s pets officially only played with me was my friend not just a pet.

This sense of fragility, to describe it in my head the image is antique glass. A thin sheet of glass with the bubbles in it, it can warp the outside view slightly, making everything softer but it’s too thin and once it cracks you cannot repair it. It is in a house that has various repair, a good strong foundation but this glass is in every window, and every window is cracked and for some reason it cannot be repaired. IT just cracks further each time there is great pain in my heart. My heart is not the same as this glass, though it is similar. My heart has recovered from so much pain it is more like a statue that no one ever finishes, but it beats and moves. I think the glass house with the cracks is haunted too. It’s haunted by all the love I wasn’t allowed and all the feelings I had to put away. No one lives there, it’s an empty space that holds screaming. I don’t like this house. I don’t like fragility.

I know I cannot take endless amounts of pain, at least not more. Pain has been a life long companion. Pain is the big sister to my Depression and Rage. Those are the triad of emotions that I know best. I can handle pain. It is the sense of overwhelming sadness, or love, or hope that throw me off. Hope is the worst thing I have ever experienced. Yet I want more. I say I don’t but I do. It’s soft, like Sprite and Nymph and it purrs. Hope is a feline emotion. It’s that first moment when I wake up and I feel the heat of the cats against my back, it is when Sprite head butts my chest and climbs up to lay on my shoulder, or when she makes me laugh by playing Farmville by herself. Something I haven’t been able to let her do since my couch broke but we’re working on that because it makes her happy. It’s the best feeling besides love, which I often say I don’t want because it overwhelms me and it cracks that glass when who I love is lost. Rose cracked the glass. Nymph cracked the glass the moment I met her. I looked at her and I loved her and that terrified me.

What happens when this glass, which I know is related to my endurance, cracks all the way? I am very much afraid of that. I can hear it cracking. It isn’t the same as the ice that cracks under my feet in my head with this. I am surrounded by shattering. I don’t know if I can take more loss. I am now terrified and a part of me wants to run to my mother and grandmother and let them destroy me because I might regret this once I lose them. It is the self beneath the ice, which is the numbness come to think of it, that knows better. I am not drowned under the ice but there I am in that space which terrifies me mentally. It is a dark space but it is the space which I am most comfortable. It is my face under the ice which makes it scary. I am crying there. I can see my eyes, so blue through the ice. I can see my face. I am that pale in reality, but for some reason I fear the ice breaking. What is under the ice is where I put the anger that scares people, and me. My anger has always been demonized, and I can handle it but can I handle it if the ice and the windows are gone? A house with no mirrors made of glass that is shattering slowly and ice that is cracking.

It is a house built by a child long ago. It is a house with a memory I don’t want to come out. In reality that is what scares me the most about my fragility. It has always been there and I have shattered twice before. What comes out when I shatter? I never remember. Each time I have shattered I look at it is as if I have died and been reborn but this time maybe it is healing to break the windows? I cannot know until they break and I don’t like this feeling.

I dreamed of Rose, telling me she would take Nymph’s pain. I dreamed of this the night I woke up and Nymph was so cold, her fever was gone and she was finally resting well. I woke up and there it was. Hope. That was when the cracking started. I was so afraid to actually hope and this is why. I knew on Monday she wasn’t going to live but I wanted to be wrong. I am tired of knowing things. I am tired of having so much knowledge that I cannot help but be right about facts in the worst of times. Fact doesn’t always let you hope, and for someone who is not very good at feeling anything, fact is easy to hide behind. Still. I cannot change the broken glass, and there it is. A part of me honestly hopes that when the windows shatter and those ghosts come out, one of them includes forgiving myself for the sins I did not commit, and when the ice melts I pray that I find it was me all along, and though that image of myself scares me it is likely similar to why a lot of people cringe when I am angry, especially when I am quiet in my anger, and that it was me all along and nothing changes except that maybe, I buy new windows and live in the house. A part of me wants this victorian manner to be a safe place. Maybe it used to be. Maybe it is the house that innocence built and hate made empty. I will find out. I do know that when Nymph is gone, I will be forever changed.

I was forever changed the moment I met her. I was forever changed the moment I felt her temperature. I was forever changed by every moment between. Every choice. Frankly, I have never had an experience where I felt so supported by so many people before, perhaps the ice is melting on that loneliness I don’t ever talk about, because it has been there for as long as I can remember. Nymph and people like her, those fleeting moments of people that change you, the people who once you meet them are gone once they do whatever loving they can? Like my sensei, like some of my teachers, like everyone I have ever loved, each of them does the loving they can and then we part, they are the best people I know. Not all of them are human but frankly, my cats are better than many humans ever could dream of. How many people can say they have a cat that teaches them french? Sprite of course.

The fragile part of me that is breaking it is not all of me, it is my core. It has broken before and I am still here. It has been burned, it has been beaten, until it shattered. This time, with the pain no one outside of me is hurting me. It is merely a part of life. I have decided several things, first and foremost if any of the research labs locally want to use Nymph’s remains to help find a cure for FIP then that is what will occur with her body. My belief is for cremation so that is the second choice. Nymph doesn’t care, she said so. The nurses at the vet’s office were shocked when I asked if they could contact these places for me, one said she hadn’t ever thought anyone would think of that. They ask sometimes but not always. The second thing is in Spring I will plant two trees or permanent type plants. One will be a rose bush, the other I don’t know yet. These will live here and whereever I eventually move to, because I will I promised Nymph someday I will live in a state that makes me happy, I also promised Rose that, she demanded it one day, I will plant the same plants there wherever I end up permanently. If no place is permanent then there will be a lot of plants. I think Ny’s may be a butterfly bush.

Finally, no matter what happens when the ice cracks, which does mean it is melting because this is very thick ice, no matter what comes out of the house of broken dreams, the house that innocence built, that haunted house in my soul? I will keep on living. I am constantly walking on a knife’s edge of depression and suicide and that has been for my entire life. I feel happiest when I am at my gothiest so I am going to resume showing that on my outside. If it makes me happier, why am I ignoring it? Pushing it away? I remember when I made the choice to try and blend in more for work but I don’t work a traditional job, when I do work well, I can wear whatever the hell I want!

I also will write that book about PTSD, and I think what comes out of that house may be chapters or a segment on how emotions change when you are no longer nuerotypical. I also forgive my mother for something, I feel it. That actually annoys me, because I don’t like forgiving her she’s a horrible mother and screws up constantly. I still do love her but when she does not change the hate and pain she causes, there is no reason for me to forgive. Yet, I forgive her for not knowing how to feel. I realize when her father died from all sorts of lovely genetic conditions her mother who has always been a broken piece of humanity, and in this case the worst of humanity, she didn’t let my mother grieve. My mother stopped growing up at the age of eight. As did a lot of me. I forgive her for not knowing but I will never forgive my grandmother. I already told Grandma Murray that, because she asked me after yet another emotional attack to do so. I will not forgive repeat offenders, but my mother’s offense was ignorance and childishness.

This does not mean I am going to let her into my life en masse, I don’t think she wants that anyway. It would also be very bad for me. I have hopes about what comes out of this space full of cracks, and I really do hope a part of it is my innocence. Who knows, maybe my dreams of demons will fade away and the dreams that are “normal” and “healthy” will suddenly spring up? Though that my scare me too. Whatever comes, I will be here. I promised Nymph. I promised Sprite. I promised myself. That last promise is the most important of all.

If I can figure out how to love, then grieving though not an easy task is one I must learn. It is a part of love. You can only mourn the dead if you love them.

A Light In The Window

There is a light in the window to your soul.
The rose it blooms brightly in that light.
The light is a fire that none can match.
That light flickered out tonight.
It was not tears that drowned it for you were of joy
It was not pain that muted it, for pain did not destroy
It was life itself that took it, as life with you fled.
To your God I bit thee go
To your heaven I bid thee go
My heart wishes you safe passage
I know you would not wish to end so soon.
So I will plant a rose on the morrow, and I will remember you.
You had your thorns
You had your fire
I will burn up the town as we did together
I will not forget you
You who saved me from a loneliness I did not know I had
My friend, my companion, until your very end.

Nymph is still alive, but there is another loss. One I knew was imminent but I let myself deny, for as long as a person is alive there is always one more day in the human mind. I have mentioned my friend Rose before, though not by name. Names matter when you are living but when you have died no one can use this information against you, though nothing bad was ever said only good. Rose was my neighbor, and she died tonight. I would not have known for a few days except that her family has also befriended me, and I was told tonight that I am family by her standards and so we will continue on, I support them and they me in our mutual grief.

Rose was a fire. She was someone that could always make me smile, she always had a good joke and even when she was not happy there it was, this spice. She had none of the cliches of people her age that the media shows. If anything she was better at being alive than me. She taught me a great deal, including the fact that it’s okay to be lonely. She didn’t let my numbness when I moved in push her away but instead decided I needed her and that she needed me. She taught me the safe places to wheel around, she taught me how to navigate a few parts of side walk that are terrifying to us both. Together we took on the world.

I will miss her. I will miss Brownie aka Brown Dog. I also knew she was sick. I knew that she would not live forever, and a part of me prepared. Yet I am a bit stunned, not numb because numb doesn’t hurt like this but more in shock. She and I had plans tomorrow morning, we were going to go out because we both needed it. She hadn’t seen me for almost a week, because of my own illness and the issues with Nymph. I had decided to deal with it and spend time with her. She is important to me, and always will be.

Rose, upon seeing my butterflies and action figures promptly made me six more butterflies and offered to make matching swords for them. She thought it was a brillaint home decore scheme and we talked about comic books and movies, we talked about life itself. Rose even met my mother and once she knew this woman was my mother offered to be a surrogate. I told her that was what Sprite was for and she thought it was a great idea as we make better friends. She taught me some things about being alive too.

I just found out. I did not cry infront of her son, because he is barely holding on and therefore I could not hurt him with my tears. I helped him escape the locked gate, one to which only two people have a key. Rose also was an advocate, and she and I took on the established acts of stupidity by the apartment manager often. She would do it her way, which is more direct fighting and I would do it mine with written complaints. When the manager saw us together he would go into hiding when he could. I enjoyed our talks. I enjoyed her dreams. They were contagious too.

Rose also made sure I was eating when I was between carers, she is the friend I may have mentioned in those early posts after Him. She knew I was in trouble and even now she told me in the year we were friends she has never seen someone change so much. I was like a plant with no water when I came so she made sure I had what I needed. This went both ways, and Rose also always respected when I needed to be alone. That is rare in a friend and someone as extroverted as she.

So I will plant a rose in my yard for her, once it is the proper season. I will never forget her, but I also may take some time off of writing to mourn. I will keep everyone updated on the situation with Nymph and if I get sicker that too, but nothing else for a time. Even those updates may be belated. I need to be sad. Rose was like her name, sweet, beautiful, and prickly. She was perfectly matched and she loved the cats.

Brown dog tried to come to me as soon as he heard my voice, I was offered his keeping. I did not accept but was honored to be chosen as well. I will see Brownie again, and Rose’s son. He is my friend too. He thinks I am amusing and likes to make vampire jokes because of course no vampire is as giving as he thinks I am. I may be that giving, I am not sure. It doesn’t feel like giving from here to love people as much as I do them. My mind is full of images of Rose, moments, there weren’t any bad times. We disagreed but we did not fight.

I also know that I will pass on the light she gave me, for it only grows with each person loved. It was Rose’s idea that I try to get another cat after the “monster cat” as she thought of William was gone. She was instrumental in my getting to love Nymph, something that also helped me to feel more alive.

To those who love someone as much as she, there is no real death but life in memories.

Rogue Agent (Trigger Warning)

RageOMatic asked me a question on my last post that I had not been able to answer. I was trying to find the answer, and for the last week or so had thought on this daily. Tonight the answer hit me.

First here is the comment that he left:

How do I step out of the cycle on this one, Kat? If I start crying for all the abuse in the world, I’ll never stop crying again. (Ultimately, I think I don’t cry for the same reason you don’t scream…no compelling reason to stop.) How am I supposed to feel? What should I do? How do you need me, an able bodied, white male, to respond to you?

I think the most profound thing you have said to me, so far, is “I am a rogue agent in the cycle of abuse”. Abuse reshapes your soul to either be sheep or wolf, the abused or the abusee. My grandparents, my parents, my older brothers and sisters, all got the same “training” I did to avoid being harmed by being the harmer, but I stepped out of the cycle.

When I read about the pain you are in, emotional and physical, the wolf wakes up. I want to find the abusers and abuse them. You are not my only friend who carries scars on her body and soul from abuse. I want to find people, and choke them. I want to see in their eyes the look they have so frequently caused in others: the moment when one realizes no fight, no strategy, no inner strength, no god, no anything, will save one…only the whim of the abuser.

I know that’s wrong…so I push those thoughts away. Now I have to fight the sheep. the first thing the sheep mindset says is what you describe is only horrible if its true. If you are lying to get attention, then you become someone lying to get attention. That’s disturbing of course, not nearly so disturbing as the truth of what happened to you. It’s so much easier to believe a woman was only abused enough to lie about the abuse, and not so abused as to be accurately describing its toll on her. Then, the second part of the sheep mindset…well even those parts that are true aren’t that bad…because abuse makes you stronger!

And with a snap, I’ve minimalized your pain, and said you are lucky to have it. All three ways, I’m agreeing with the abuser: (1.) Abuse is a good way to motivate people. (2.) It’s the victims moral flaw and not the abuser’s. (3.) It’s good for victim anyway.

First I want to respond to this comment because this comment is so multilayered. Then I will explain how I was given the answer by M, my dear dear friend who often lights the way on my path when I am confused.

First, Abuse does not make you a sheep or a wolf but instead a victim or a predator. Often both. The Sheep and Wolf metaphor is a part of the mind playing into the lies we are told and sometimes tell ourselves to cope with abuse. It’s okay to just be a person, even if it means you are a person that has been hurt.

Stepping out of the cycle of violence is the most dangerous act a victim can make, and frankly I don’t believe that a person who has taken on the role of abuser can stop, because then they are letting go of a mispercieved “power”. This is an opinion I hope is wrong but it is based on my experiences and some of the challenges I faced when I tried to be the abuser. I did make that choice and those memories and choices are the few things in this life I actually and actively regret.

I understand wanting revenge. In fact, I will be upfront with you on this, if I ever meet my exhusband again I will kill him. If my father rises from the dead as a Zombie I am sure as hell going to take him out. If my Grandmother ever speaks to me again she will meet the wall of silence that I have decided is all she deserves from me. For her that is a fate worse than death. Revenge can be a great motivator for changing patterns. It can be the carrot, if I am alive, living well, this torments them.

Revenge can be a reason to not die. It has it’s purpose but revenge cannot be the only reason you live or you start to poison yourself. Eventually you have to find something past it. In fact my statements above are less about revenge and more about protecting myself. I am not going to seek out my exhusband, because that would be self abuse. I will defend myself and if he dies in the process which I beleive would be a necessity, then I am in the right. My father as a zombie? Off with his head. He’d be eating brains, so since I have one, again self defense. With my grandmother, this choice is difficult because I am aware it causes her pain. I decided that minimizing my pain and regret factor is worth her suffering, because in reality nothing I can say or do will stop her fear of dying alone and the cycle of abuse that follows when she realizes that someone may just want something from her, her other fears feeding into her personal cycle.

Another element to wanting to seek and destroy the abusers is two fold. 1. Having been a victim, it protects you from being victimized by them. 2. An element of this is wanting to protect other people. Neither of these things is actually bad, but when you are raised in a world where self preservation is something “sinful” and you are taught to fear it, you will lie to yourself about the why. I still do and have to actively catch myself and correct the thoughts. Knowing someone is hurting at the hands of others hurts because of the human collective. This is why I cry when I hear about bombings, murders, and child abuse. It hurts me emotionally.

In fact I believe that the factors I listed above actually are the cause of this current war in Iraq. The emotions of the people in my country were played with so that abusers could go and hurt people in the name of protection. 9-11 was actually around the time of my self awakening, and I believe that the abuses and lies by the US government played a part in this, because they were the same sort of lies my father told us about other people (specifically people of color or other minority factors).

I don’t think you want to see their pain so much as you want to prevent it, but I may be wrong. However, that was my personal truth, and it may take some digging through the layers of feeling masks to find out what your personal truth is. When feelings are forbidden, it is natural and “healthy” to put a mask on. It’s a survival instinct. It stops being healthy when the situation goes away. Some people perpetuate the abuse because they don’t know how to function without it. Some tell themselves they like or deserve it and seek it out. Then another set of Victims and Abusers come into play.

This is part of stopping the internal cycle that is hard. No one can see your thoughts but you. I had to retrain my reactions to people. On top of this I had to learn to deal with PTSD, and I had to learn things that I know now are basics for small children. No hitting. No biting. Sharing. I still am fairly awful at sharing. I wasn’t just developmentally delayed or socially delayed but my parents emotionally stunted my growth without thought of what this would do for me socially. Social skills are something abusers take away and I am still mastering some of them. (The Autism plays a part in this, but not as much of a part as most people think.)

What you call the sheep mindset is a response to programming. I always called it trying to eject the tapes, because I noticed for me the voices in my head were of my abusers. The lies that I told myself were mine, belonged to my parents. As Victims we first learn to minimize our own pain, and the post you questioned me on was an excercise in not minimizing things. I still did to a level and may someday write part two of that post but I am not there yet. Instead of punishing yourself for “Agreeing with the abuser” try relabeling things. When you think a thought you know is toxic tell yourself to stop and state the truth.

This is a method I think I found in one of my mother’s many self help books. Most of them to me were worthless but I remembered either reading or hearing about this method and it seemed reasonable. I don’t know what I read but what I did was carry around a small notebook, a tiny pen, and I would make a page for every day, then I would make a line for each bad thought I had to correct. The first day I used four of those tiny notebooks at least. Every thought I had was really repetition and regurgitation of abuse. I had to give myself a goal to do this because it is hard. So I told myself that once I went a week without having to correct myself I would get a soda from the school vending machine. Admittedly I had to steal the money to do it so it wasn’t a perfect scheme but it was a goal.

I then had to make the goal realistic and aimed that I would only use one page in a month. It took years. I actually left the school I was in before then, was sent away to a mental hospital, kicked out of that mental hospital, sent to an exclusive school for broken children (my mother’s words), and was allowed to return home before I managed it. That means it took me over two years.

I didn’t realize until last year when I was writing one of the many unpublished things I putter on that I had really taught myself how to think. The cycle of abuse works because we become afraid of thought itself. Thought shows on your face, it brings up those feelings that make the pain come, and so you must only think safe things. Add in an omnipotent being that has hated you from the womb, something you and I share, and you have no reason to actually think or learn or do anything but what you are programmed to do. This is brainwashing. Admitting that makes me want to cry a little, because it’s something else that I know falls into that spot where I want to dismiss it.

Your statement of steps is active abuse, even if you don’t share it and don’t act on it. I will state you are the victim and abuser when this is all in your head, because it hurts you. If I am unaware that you had these thoughts and even with the awareness I am not actually harmed or the harm is much less than what you have as you have then entered your own self hate and punishment cycle, if I am guessing correctly. I still do at times. I am practicing not giving in there, and though I no longer carry around a notebook I still have to stop myself at times. If I am alone sometimes I will shout at myself in the mirror, arguing with those tapes. sometimes seeing that I am really a person and not a valueless fleshpile makes it easier to stop them.

I also want you to keep in mind that the tapes are a part of what makes PTSD work, and I don;’t know if they can ever go away. You may sheer the sheep but wool grows. This is a life long goal and fight.

Now the truths about the lies that you asked about

1. Abuse has never motivated anyone. If anything that omnipresent sense of dread that is in all my memories up until my adulthood and sometimes thereafter made me want to not move, not breathe and live. Abuse is the best demotivator.

2. Sometimes the victims have yet to speak, this would mean that everything is morally bankrupt, and with good people in the world such as you, even when you don’t believe it or M who keeps me from forgetting I am a person on my worst days this cannot be true. There would not be cats like Sprite, there would not be disability benefits, and there would not be medicine if everything was flawed and evil.

3. If it were good for the victim it wouldn’t break people and have people die. This does not mean those victims were weak but instead that they just broke.

Stepping out of the cycle here is possible. I think this is the hardest part of the cycle of abuse. I had to learn to love myself. I could think for myself once I knew I deserved to do so. Not just that I deserved my thoughts but that my thoughts are things of beauty even if there is a bit of tragedy with in many of the experiences I have had.

You are supposed to feel as you feel. Feelings simply are. Anger is not a bad emotion if you do not weaponize it. Anger simply is. My favorite emotion is Joy, and even as I am writing this I feel joy, because by asking these questions you are freeing yourself. You may have to do so again and again but you are trying, and trying is the only way of doing there is. I think the reason I cannot cry is why I don’t scream, but there is a reason to stop. I am just not sure I would know how to do so. The reason to stop is because of life.

And on the last question you ask, respond to me as a person above all. For that is simply who I am. That is who you are too, so remember that. People are fallible, and you will have days when you cannot stop making tick marks, days when you lie about it to yourself and make less than you should, and days when you run out of paper. Then there will be days when you don’t think the toxic thoughts about your worth, and when you can see other people around you through your own eyes.

M helped me find the answers because we were talking about a Patsy Cline Song, and Jonah Hex. Jonah Hex is like us. He is the product of severe abuse and cruelty. He is trying to make the world better in his own way but he is actively stuck in his personal cycle, and has no help getting out because of the judgement of others that take a scar on his face as a sign of his internal wickedness. A scar made by abuse.

When I read Hex I listen to Country Music. The Patsy Cline Song A Church A courtroom and then Goodbye is for me a reference now to my wifetime. My marraige was short, but before it became bitter it was sweet. I really did and DO love my exhusband. I love the parts of him that were good, the parts he chose to throw away.

He tried to devalue me and instead showed me a part of the abuse I was still in. In my life the only nice things I let myself have were investments in the future, so that I could save money in the long term. So my computers are always expensive but they last a long time. (Five years is a looong time in technology and I can jury rig things for a lot longer with this one if I just don’t save anything to my main HDD.) In fact, I so rarely bought anything new for myself and then it was an item of need.

My nice new clothes he took away? I needed them because I had nothing to wear LITERALLY. I am actually about to go buy pants because I need them and again have almost none at all. My shiny new Batgirl statue is a symbol of my being deserving of want. I deserve to want things. Instead of that being a dreadful affliction, a sin, or something bad… it’s okay. I may not buy everything in the world but as with food deprivation, depriving myself of the things I desire causes me to binge.

I can throw away the sales ads from the stores now. I no longer have to try and fit new trash in with old. I am still working on unhoarding my home but it is clean, the only things on the floor are furniture, wheels from my wheelchair, and cat toys. There is no filth, no piles that I have to climb over, and even better? I don’t hate myself for wanting and for the things I have.

Furthermore I also have something for you and everyone that reads this my dear Rageomatic. Love.

Love is a constant. It is not a weapon. It is not harmful. The idea that love can hurt you is silly. Not everything that has been called love is actually love. If something is called love and it hurts, it is something else. Pain is not beneficial but is a warning of something harmful. It is a sensory antibody. I love. I love everything and everyone. I admit even to loving those that hurt me. Love itself does not mean you have to open the door, open yourself to more pain, but instead the love of yourself is why you can step away from the cycle, and why you are not alone.

When you can love yourself and admit it to yourself, you can give yourself permission for joy. Joy doesn’t fade either but sometimes other feelings occur but that makes the return of joy all the greater.

This is my gift to you, and to myself. Thank you for asking your questions.

Shaming the Survivor (Trigger Warning and Foul Language Warning)

It is everywhere, the societal shaming of people. I could title this victim shaming or victim blaming yet, there is an aspect to being a survivor beyond the aspects of being a victim. The part of me that is a survivor identifies with John McClain, it wants to die hard if it has to die at all. The part of me that identifies as a victim couldn’t fight hard enough to survive. Same coin, two sides. When I advocate I must be a survivor, the victim aspect is too fragile to risk exposing to the shame.

You may have already run into this, at least once in your life. Something happens to you, and instead of being happy that you are alive, someone you know or must deal with reacts with disgust that you had to do things to survive, things that hurt you or went against the grain of society. The person that defends herself against a violent man and hurts him is not lauded but is feared by the patriarchy. Society moves to shame the survivors, keep it hidden away, don’t talk about it. This aspect leaks into other things. Surviving rape is immediately putting yourself at risk of being accused of deserving it. Rape can be deadly, therefore, to live you must have given in slightly, this is the myth. You asked for it and enjoyed it or you would be dead right? Wrong.

There is overlap with victim blaming yet, I haven’t come across a discussion about shaming the survivor. In a country/culture that has fat shame, thin shame, skin color shame, hair shame, race shame, gender shame, sex shame… it is hard pressed to find anything that is not seen as shameful. Other things are never acknowledged. Perhaps it is in that the feminists who are able bodied or did not endure domestic violence or… (insert qualifier here) cannot put it into ideas. Perhaps it is that these same women who attempt to speak for everyone with a vagina but only if they were born that way and are able bodied and white… do just that. They exclude. Before I was disabled I felt excluded because I  have survived. I felt shamed for having questions and not having picked up books on the subject. My nascent moment of identifying with the feminists died the moment one of them shamed me. I remember the words, the tone, and the sting. The woman was old enough to be my mother, she was blond, tall, and pretty. The topic was how to raise awareness about domestic violence, which resonated with me. I asked this question: “What if we pooled some money or raised funding via grants to open a shelter that gives access to women who aren’t married?” I hadn’t been homeless as an adult yet, I hadn’t known I would be in a sinking boat. I went further, the room had fallen silent so I stood up. In that moment I was appearing as able bodied, straight, white, and pretty by the societal standards. “Most of the shelters in our city cater only to those with children, and there needs to be a place for everyone.” That was what they were preaching. I thought the idea would be great. The response instead was as follows.

“Women like us never use shelters, we don’t need them, because we won’t ever lose our jobs or our families.” In that moment, the words said in this acid tongued manner that curdled by gut, I sat down and wondered why they called themselves feminists and why they bothered trying. I was excluded by class, my clothes were fashionable but I was not in the class I appeared to be. I was excluded by experience. Obviously the woman who spoke had never been in need, and in that moment I was cut adrift from feminism. I tried many times to reconnect but, despite some correct things and other incorrect things I did not belong in their puzzle. The ideals fit, but the people did not. There was discussion of how to further how to protect, but never the action that would help lower class (financially and educationally) women. Instead there was a pandering aspect to their own able bodied white privilege.

It hurt. It left me feeling so alone in the world. Months later I was further away from their ideal woman, deserving of help. I began to advocate alone. I have only worked with someone else during my advocacy rarely, because I do not want to be shamed for my experiences and I have yet to find true intersectionality. Sometimes my methods for getting my voice heard horrify people. To me there is nothing wrong with being a bit loud, or refusing to move when the police order me to as long as it is legal for me to do so. I am a rebel with many causes, and I see it everywhere I turn with the larger groups, if I do not fit their expectation of survivor there is shame.

Thankfully advocacy groups are rarely seen from this angle, I know I have the benefit of being a social chameleon, and that cuts down on people accusing me of things, assuming the wrong thing, or I just don’t admit what they do not need to know. I should say didn’t, as, in the last few years I have stopped hiding the parts of me they won’t like. I lost allies, but they weren’t true allies as a result.

I haven’t been shamed for surviving in a long time, but I had put distance between what I had survived and the moments I was living in. I see in my head snapshots of myself through the ages of my life, the phases, and the moments. They tumble down, twisting around each other before they burn up into a cloud of white smoke and I am still me. I let myself grow distant from them, focusing on living. Living became the act of surviving and once again I am being forced to justify my reason for not letting myself be murdered.

I realized that it was an attempt to shame me with the insurance. This week I had to justify the assessment for the wheelchair again. The woman on the phone asked me what I did to damage my body. “I had an abusive caregiver, I was starved and my first chair was damaged. It also never fit my needs or worked properly before that.”

“Uh huh, well did that caregiver beat you because abuse is just not reason enough for us to approve this chair.”

I wanted to scream, curse, cry, and shout. Instead I took a breath and said. “I was starved, are you aware of the ramifications on the body caused by starvation? I had less than 750 calories a day. My body consumed it’s strength to not die. My internal will to live also came into play, when I had to escape said abuser, I had to move. The replacement caregiver was also abusive, so I had to clean the entire apartment myself, I had to lift boxes, and I had to do this or I would have nothing left of my life with no way to replace it. I had to do this with a wheelchair that was broken.”

“So this is a self inflicted injury.” She started to go on and I let myself snarl.

“So you want your clients to just die when the options are injury that further disables them or death?”

She was quiet, I felt my anger and I let it be. I am working on that, as I fear anger. Anger usually means violence. I just felt it. It was about ten seconds, she was obviously thinking.

“No, it was just… you should have asked for help or something!”

It was my fault, in this woman’s mind. I have met her before, she is like the woman who shamed me for having an idea, like the reporter who didn’t understand that the ADA protects her too, and I had the click. Society wants survivors to stay silent, or to take the blame. It’s the same aspect, but in t his case the blame is the act of living itself. It is all tied like a spiderweb to the same isms, over and over again.

“I did, many times over. I begged, I pleaded.” I described the murder kit to her, I described my efforts of cleaning, lifting, dragging, crawling. Then, I turned it towards money. “So, now that you know all that, let me add something else into the mix. The chair will cost you less than the surgery and ER visits needed when I crack my head open because I lost my balance trying to do it your way, check my records I recently went to the ER. That costs you once about as much as the chair. That visit was preventable with treatment. You can approve me or deny me, I know others also have a say but if it comes down to my life being worth less to you than the cost of the chair, I will cost you more because I won’t die. I am a survivor. I plan to live a very long time, and as angry as you are that some disabled person gets help from your taxes… that’s just too damned bad.”

I was told it is too expensive. I was told over and over it is too expensive. My right to the freedom to move is too expensive. Even if it means I might die. I am hoping that my words left HER feeling shame, and anyone who hears the recording of that call. She and her company should be ashamed that my living is less important to them than profiting off of the illnesses of people. The capitalistic nature of my country has caused illness to be comodified. I am not a commodity item to the insurance company but I am to the wheelchair company and in a nursing home my name would be beds. I will now always be poor, but I refuse to be known as cost burden, potential profit or beds.

My name is Kateryna Fury. If you think it is wrong for me to have fought and dug and clawed my way out of abuse more times than I can count, fuck you. You heard me. I am breaking my own personal rules. It makes me edgy mentally to do so, a bit nutty feeling but FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU FOR THINKING THAT IT IS BAD FOR ME TO LIVE. When you break, because everyone does eventually in some way, someone will shame you for not dying. I hope you think for a moment and realize that you did the same over and over again.You are the cause of the term Survivor’s guilt. No one should ever feel guilty for living. EVER. Even bad people have a right to life, maybe you and your epic hatred of all things with a pulse made the person you think is bad act in that manner. Maybe it is all your fault you FUCKER. FUCK YOU.

My name is Kateryna Fury. I am glad to know that you also have survived, that you have fought and clawed and dug your way out of abuse, that you are a survivor. If you are in the act of surviving, then know you are not alone. I am proud of you. Your living has value not just to you but to me. It is so wonderful you want to live. As you recover, remember, you are loved.

Freedom (Trigger Warning)

I have a lot of freedom, compared to many persons with Autism or mental health issues. I have a lot of freedom compared to many disabled persons. I had to fight for my freedoms but I am often left wondering, how much of this do I take for granted?

I eat when I want. In an institution this is not true. I do not take this for granted very often, but when I am ill I take this as a greater virtue. I always take my freedom to prepare my food in a safe environment as a blessing. I still have nightmares about being institutionalized and most center on the food or humiliating moments related to food that I experienced.

This is just an example of course. I have been looking into the way others with Autism who are adults live, partly because I am a late comer to the diagnosis. Most of what I am writing right now comes from inspiration that was caused by Kowalski. I consider Kowalski a friend despite the fact we have never met and likely will not meet in person, yet we have in depth discussions based on our mutual advocacy. I do not know if Kowalski identifies as an advocate yet her work has assisted me with my adaptation.

I know my talent for advocacy has given me a good deal of freedoms that people who literally cannot speak (and therefore often do not have a voice) do not have. I have my own home, I have my pets. I have the ability to choose who takes care of those pets when I cannot. My pets medical needs are met. I do not have to admit people to my home.

I have a very good caregiver, as I mentioned before, and that is another freedom. Every day that Jo comes over and I do not feel fear, or the fear I feel is not related to her presence and she is understanding that I cannot control these fears is a day that I am free. I had to self advocate when I was starved to the point that I could barely think, I couldn’t speak or bathe because my body was also over stimulated after fighting and clawing literally. I had to prove I needed to let go of what is considered more freeing, to hire and fire my own caregivers.

I was unaware of a freedom that could be in too much measure a trap. Letting someone else decide something. For the first time in my life someone else has a say without a court order. Having been institutionalized, in jail (assault charges, I was guilty and a minor), and imprisioned in my home by multiple abusers, I know the pleasures of freedom. I know how rare it is too. I was so terrified of letting an agency handle anything, that I trapped myself.

I feel safer with my caregiver because I can say No. I cannot say no if I am The Boss because then she could quit and I am left without a mediator to get through the weeks or even months until I hire someone. If there was any doubt of my need for caregiving, that was burned away by K and the neglect that I faced from myself after she was fired. The neglect was not conscious but was a result of having no agency and the lack of ability. I can want to do something all day but I cannot always perform.

The freedoms I miss due to disability are numerous. I miss being able to just get in a car and go somewhere. I miss going for walks. I miss working, because I miss to a degree human interaction. I do not miss the false facade I put on to survive in society but I do miss getting to study the behaviors of those around me so that i could try them on to see why and how things worked.

I miss the freedom to explore myself as well, as if you do not go out and do there is little that makes you grow. I am grateful for the internet as this adds opportunities to my personal growth but it is still a difficult path to walk on. All around me I see things that to me are obvious but others are blind to, and I miss watching someone find that oft missed moment.

I am grateful for my freedoms, but, I hunger for more. I secretly wish for the freedom of knowing about my disabilities before I was an adult. Most of them were diagnosed, just left untreated because I was not seen as a worthy candidate by my family. I understand, treating my disabilities is an expense. I just wish I had been worth one expense. Today i told Jo a bit about my childhood, it came up in the context of why I do not let my family visit very often. I left out the part that they rarely ask, because that is hurtful.

I did tell her about my sixteenth birthday, I told her things I rarely tell people but she needs to know. I was sent to several institutions growing up for just being different, and I know this saved me from being without a personal moral compass. I have borrowed moralities and tried them on to see what fits. This leads me to a strange belief system far from the beaten path but it is something I can use to guide me.

I remembered too, these institutions enforced medical care. I would be dead if my mother hadn’t decided I was just not happy enough. Yes, this lead to overdrugging me for most of my life. That lead to self harming behaviors such as not taking pain medications unless I am about to faint. I do take my pain medications regularly now but that is because I am always ready to faint. Still, a tumor in my intestine and gangrene, both caused by abuses at the hands of my parents and my significant medical disorders would have killed me. The institutions gave me the surgeries I needed to LIVE.

The last one, was in a ranch setting and was also one of the places I learned I wasn’t crazy. I have a rare talent with animals, and there I was given the respect of a crusty old cowboy, because I could tame a “wild and raging” animal. There I was also given a specific freedom that I will forever miss. My medical issues made me late for manditory horse care, and I was so afraid of the horses. They are big, I am small. We were not allowed to opt out of riding unless our feet were gangrenous and freshly operated on, and the infection had yet to come to light. I grabbed my saddle, the bridle, and the helmet and was told “Grab a horse and catch up.”

I missed the part of the class where we were told to leave the specific horse I chose alone. I remember his coat, a rich reddish brown color, his scars left black stripes. He was abused too. He had no eyes, which scared most of the others but I just felt sad because I could see the scars there too. Someone had torn out his eyes. This horse was dangerous, even the horse master, a man who had tamed many horses and specialized in rehabilitation of horses did not think he could be ridden.

I was often ignored because I didn’t cause much trouble around the horses. They scared me after all. So i walked over to him, this horse named Gator because “he is as mean as an alligator.” I talked to him while I was saddling him. I didn’t know what to say I just didn’t want to scare him, and so I introduced myself. “Hi Horse, my name is Kat. I don’t really want to ride you but I have to. I just want us to work together, because I think you want to get to run, and maybe it won’t be so bad if we get along.”

I had the horse saddled and was ready to mount up before the staff saw my horse. This was the first time anyone had touched Gator that he wasn’t kicking or biting at them. They had determined he was too dangerous to keep around the ranch but I could ride him. I refused to ride another horse, and because he was calm this was allowed. Gator was my horse. Out of all of the residents male and female, the staff, and the horse professionals that visited only I could ride him.

I was told I am a horse whisperer, but, I can do this with dogs, cats, and other animals. Not birds, because my fear of them is too great. I just tell them what I want them to do and we work together. That was the first time I did it, however. I remember how scared I was. Horses are tall. Obvious I know, but I am extremely afraid of heights. Gator didn’t move at all as I got on him, which confused everyone who knew the horse. He was a gentle ride and I had fun.

We went slow for most of the trail, the group let me set the pace which was probably the equivalent of a ten mile an hour car in a sixty mile per hour zone. We climbed a big hill, I mostly just clung to the horse and talked to him to distract myself. I swear, sometimes it seemed like he laughed at my jokes. No one complained about my babbling for once, no one seemed to care or notice. Then, we reached the top of the hill.

There was a field there, and there were these little yellow flowers in bloom. I let Gator run. The blind horse and the nearly blind girl who had no business on that horse. He was fast. It was magnificent. I let go of the fears, I let them melt away. We raced around the meadow, he trusted his hooves and I trusted him. It was a three hour ride. I didn’t feel the pains in my body until we made it back to the stables and I dismounted. After taking care of Gator and putting up the tack I was told he was mine as long as I stayed. He would have to find a new home when I left the facility but, until then I had my very own horse.

I took care of him every day for a year. I was being released from the program, I had learned how to blend in. I had learned how to heal the emotional wounds I had enough, I even made friends. People friends. I learned how to dress, how to walk, and how to talk like a Nuerotypical person. I faced disability for the first time, but missed diagnosis considerably. This was also the time when I had some malpractice issues with a dentist that made my mouth always ache. Yet it never mattered when I was with my horse. I think I was more his person.

Gator killed someone, my last week there. A staff member. He injured six others. You see, this woman saw me ride the horse and said out loud (obviously this is paraphrased because this is nearly ten years ago. I now feel way old) “If that girl can ride him, I can.” He threw her off because she kicked him. I never once kicked Gator, or did anything in anger near him. Everyone agreed she was too rough with him, and she had waited until she was the only adult around. He dragged her for a bit and trampled people, because they tried to catch him. Gator never found a home, and I never got to say good bye. I think the administrators feared I would relapse back to the dangerous behaviors of bludgeoning people over food.

I admit I do not mourn the human that caused his death. She was warned repeatedly that he was dangerous and chose to believe she was better than a child, and then she was violent with him. This does not mean I believe she deserved death but she did not behave in a safe manner. Horses are dangerous. All horses are. The children and adults that were harmed trying to save her? Those people I mourn. Pain and fear were introduced to both them and my Gator.

I try to avoid remembering that part of my time with Gator however. I will never ride a horse again. Before I broke my back I was saving for a week at a retreat with horses, because I missed the feeling of moving with an animal. I never felt the saddle, I never felt the ground. Gator and I flew. Of all the places we rode together, that meadow was the most wonderful place. My favorite memory of freedom is that meadow riding full tilt with my horse, at sunset. It was a cloudless day, the light was perfect, and I had only one thought. Faster.

I know a lot of rational people refuse to have dieties or an afterlife. I am not completely rational. My IQ implies I should be but my personal experiences prevent that. I talk to animals, they reply in their own ways and I understand. Gator trusted me because I promised him I would never hurt him if he never hurt me. We made a pact through a universal language.

My truest freedom is something I would not have without that horse. Trust. The horse master? I trusted him AFTER I met the horse. I had no one else to trust before then. My trust is more rare than a diamond. It comes on a spectrum as does all life. Sanity, thought, gender, sexual preferences, humanity? We are on a rainbow spectrum. My best friend M, who is the only man I trust implicity and is the only person I have ever loved unconditionally? I would never have been able to trust him without Gator.

I owe that horse so much. I cry when I think of that betrayal. I can still feel the coffee cup in my hands, I was eating when we found out. I had just gotten back from the doctor and was given my diagnosis of endometriosis and polycystic ovarian disease, disproving cancer. It was good news and I was reading up on both disorders. I remember the entire room pausing, everyone in the dorm that I stayed in coming in. They already knew. That same weight I felt before when I lost something came, because their faces told me.

I don’t remember those words, I just remember feeling the dark feelings that I always was told were bad, and knowing my mother was wrong. I wanted to die for a few moments, because if i was dead I could be with my horse. I remember something else however, as spectacular as that meadow. The girls, the new girl replacing me on the bed count even, they all gathered around me. No one touched me because I hate touch, and they knew that. Each one just waited for me to respond. I said something but it was lost to me. They said things. We talked. For the first time during an emotional crisis I had someone there.

A lot of someones. I didn’t have to deal with it alone. I have had to deal with most everything alone in life. From leaving that facility on through meeting M, I was very alone. Without Gator I would never have known I didn’t have to be. That was the final lesson of many he taught me. Gator did not accept just anyone, he was sent to the facility for care but was never supposed to meet with any people. They were assessing him to see if he merited saving. I gave him another year of life.

His life was brutal. He was six years old when they put him down. A part of me always felt he needed a trial, after all it was self defense. Still, as an adult I understand that he hurt a lot of people, and the only reason he lived was dumb luck. If I had been five minutes earlier? He would never have met me. I wish I could have seen his eyes, I wish he could have seen mine. I dislike eye contact, it makes me want to vomit on my good days but you learn a lot from eyes.

I wonder if he ever meant to hurt anyone. I wonder if he knew he hurt the man who hurt him. See, Gator was considered dangerous because he stomped his abuser half to death. I found that out after I was already on his back for the first time, and I remember thinking, “I wish you could do that to my dad horsie.” Sometimes, in my dreams I ride off on Gator to escape the villains. Every dream has villains again. I only had a few months where there was time for tea with Batman. I don’t have a batmobile, I don’t have a jet plane. I have a horse.

This is what I think of when I think of lost freedom. It isn’t needing a caregiver, it isn’t the use of my legs or being able to walk to the toilet without pain and concentration. It isn’t being hungry. Those are all things that have always been there. The lost freedoms were his not mine. Gator gave me his freedom.

I am sure it could be a story in a movie somewhere, a little girl and her horse. Gator was the first time I felt grown up. I was trusted with his life, and he trusted me before the humans. He wasn’t the only horse I rode there, I was attatched to another who also died in my time there, but Gator is the one that taught me how to run.

Freedom isn’t running away from the things that hurt you. Freedom isn’t being able to do whatever you want. Freedom is having a moment to be truly alive. You do not have to be with people, you do not have to be alone. You just have to be. Every day that I am alive and I am not in an abusive situation, I am free.

The Cliche of Anger

I am tired, in massive pain, and yet I still am riding on the waves of fulfillment. I worked an entire week straight. I am taking a few more days to get back to my standard however, and reminded myself why I do not work in a traditional manner. I would have been fired today for being unable to wear standard clothing for one, and my attitude for another. Every action I take, every interaction I am bogged down by references to the past, lessons, and reminders. I hear my mother’s voice most clearly, and that is not something I welcome. I want to be an individual not the product of my family.

I wasn’t going to post until tomorrow but I was reading a few pages over at Womanist Musings. The proprietor of Womanist Musings has recently outed herself as being amid the disabled. She is beginning to run into the challenges of being suddenly unwelcome, invisible, and at times hated for merely existing. Today one of the commenters told her that she should start a civil rights movement, ignoring the fact that the disabled community has been pulling for equal rights for as long as other civil rights movements have been in effect. Before we go on, I want to remind you my dear reader that every single civil rights movement hasn’t ended, and that the fight for equality is on going no matter what your ism is. This reader seemed to think that a few protests fix everything.

This ignores the protests in New York, the individuals who do sacrifice their energy and at times sanity to try and force businesses to comply with the laws, and it ignores the fact that there are those who came before you and I. This is an erasure of our history. I responded with snideness and sarcasm, ignoring for the few moments it took to suggest a hacksaw so she could remove her legs as “easily” as I can get off of my scooter, the voice of my mother. “All disabled people are angry, they think they have rights.” I am aware that it is the events of today that shape the memories that seem to nitpick at us. Before I was disabled my sexuality was most often the harbinger of a Mommy Memory. “Bisexuals are selfish, they just want to have sex with as many people as possible.” Every time I went to flirt with a woman or a man, I heard something like that.

The myth of anger is just that, a myth. It erases the happy moments with friends and family, it erases the moments where competent and open minded people realize that everyone has rights. The myth of anger is often used to subjugate. Stop being angry, so that I can continue to oppress you. That is what I hear. The expectation that an entire group of people must never feel one emotion is ridiculous yet this is foisted on women of color, the disabled, homosexuals, and countless other oppressed groups, all to control us. Anger is forbidden.

Many times when I am smiling, I am told, “This inaccessible area will be fixed soon, we swear!” The tone is always frantic, that hint of “Oh god she will be mad that we haven’t done this yet.” It doesn’t matter that I am smiling and just nod and say, “Great, thanks for letting me know.” The fear of my anger, which is some how more toxic than their anger or fear is there. I still don’t understand it, but, I see this often. The times when I am angry, I am also not heard. It’s enough for me to want to go back to trying to be Super Cripple, but, I won’t do that.

My anger is valid. Your anger is valid. Anger is not a reason to oppress, discriminate, or subjugate. Anger is not an excuse to not build the ramp in an accessible manner, and anger is not an excuse to try to “just get rid of” someone. I am tired today, and I am trying to seem reasonable. My mind is far from reasonable. I am in truth alone, and am having a small tantrum every time I need to get up to move. My fiance forgot to feed the cats, which merited an hour of sitting there whining about how I wasn’t sure if I could do it, I can’t bend, and their bowls are on the floor.

It wasn’t anger that had me make a really big mess trying to feed them either. That was love. They were hungry so I fed them, without bending. (Sorry honey, but the kitties have to eat too!) It won’t be anger that I let him know he forgot either, but amusement. Every emotion that I have is not anger. The lessons that our parents teach us, may shape what we see but it is the choice that I made in my first experience with disability as an adult that showed me otherwise. I chose to not see anger.

It’s really that simple. Demeaning an entire group of people does cause anger. If you fear our anger so much, stop discriminating. If you come near me right this second and discriminate I will show you anger, but I won’t run you down with my scooter. That’d hurt me too, and you just aren’t worth my time or pain.

To my friends, allies, and fellow disabled persons, don’t forget that every moment that we are alive is the revolution for our people. Every time we are seen out of our homes, with our assistance equipment, service animals, and even having issues, this is our revolution. VIVA LA REVOLUCION! Free my people!

Shattered Pieces and Elmer’s Glue

Community. I have never really felt it before. Normally I feel isolated with in my art. I don’t connect well with people at times. Few actually notice, but I always feel like there is a glass wall between the world and myself. Those times I do connect I treasure more than any gems in the entire world. I am not sure if this is the Autism, the disability factor, or if it is merely the fact that I am more intellectual than emotional. I grew up and the kids who knew what Star Trek was would either call me a witch or a Vulcan.

I never minded being compared to a race of highly logical beings with control over their emotions, though I still do not think I do. I cry sometimes, I laugh, I feel anger and can show it. I believe that makes me just human. Humans are over all herd animals. Looking at the way we bunch up into groups, I think of horses and wolves. Humans are rarely wolves. They like to think they are, they like to try and hunt. The majority of humans flee at the sign of a threat. This doesn’t mean much of anything really but I don’t run well and have never understood that.

recently I reached a crisis internally and literally. I took a medication that caused me to experience a manic mood swing. I am not Bipolar but I know people who are. I now have so much more empathy for what can occur in the brain. I had no control. I couldn’t hide any irritation and it came out as not just anger but wrath. The type of wrath that causes Biblical Smiting. Happiness was minimized and sorrow was at an extreme. I even had suicidal thoughts.

Thankfully I am very secure with in my desire to be alive. My response to feeling that I should kill myself is always the same, and apparently is a core part of my identity. The response is this: “If I want the easy way out I can die, but then I won’t get to annoy my (insert person who caused child hood traumas here) by succeeding.” Followed by, “Plus then Sprite would kill herself.” Yes, I believe my cat would actually commit suicide.

She would probably eat a bird to follow me to the wherever we go after. She’s my life partner and my fiance even knows that she is a priority because she brings stability. Still this medication that changed the entire way my brain worked, it caused her to go to him for comfort when I could not hold her. I could not pet her. I wanted to but it felt like I was petting acid covered glass. It turned out I was having physical hallucinations.

During this two week long process, most of this spent trying to recover my normal self from the tattered ruins of InsanoKat Time, I learned how much I prize a few people. The entire point of writing this post is to share that. The people I prize are a mix of those I know online and those that I know offline.

I prize the Overgrounders, because despite being unable to access my internal creativity, I wasn’t told that I was a poser, instead I was reminded that everyone has writers block or a downswing in creativity at times. I was encouraged. As a result, when my creativity returned I created. I drew pictures that look like what I intended.

I prize both toastmasters groups I am a part of. TVC and Borboleta Safari both allowed me to miss a few meetings, and were safe places to make myself function anyway. I hesitated at first, but realized that my brain might not return to normal. The risk with mind altering medications is that the effects can be permanent. This is a huge reason as to why I am anti drug. My anti drug? Sanity.

My fiance, despite having his own issues springing up during this entire debacle supported me. We had some issues but I believe the kinks are working themselves out.

There are more people that I could list here but I don’t want to mimic the Academy awards. I am relieved to find my sense of humor returning. Having your sanity infringed upon is a great way to learn what is important to you, and I learned that my sense of humor really does make every day living better. If I can find a moment of humor, then the pain is diminished. When I couldn’t my pain felt worse.

Everything felt worse. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I could’t think. I couldn’t. I couldn’t. I couldn’t. It was a loop of failure. I failed before I tried because I did not see the point in trying. I was aware of my true self, the self that writes this but I couldn’t seem to connect to it. I could hear the soft whispers of “Oh don’t be silly, of course it’s funny that you stumbled and it looked like dancing.” I could hear the whispers of, “Wouldn’t it be great if we tried writing just a little?” I couldn’t seem to reply however.

I felt like I was two separate people. Two people so opposing to one another that they deadlocked.

I am back. I am changed. Perhaps this is the butterfly escaping it’s cocoon, for who says that we as humans cannot be caterpillars, returning to larvae periodically to grow again. A unique mental life cycle that few can appreciate. I am not sure I appreciate this experience but i do appreciate growing from it.

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