Voices Rising from Silence (PTSD Trigger Warning)

As an advocate for myself and when I can other people I run into a question a lot. “How do you do this?” This question most often comes from my fellow autistics. As someone diagnosed as an adult I find a lot of my experiences without diagnosis mirror the “medical treatments” others on spectrum who were diagnosed have. Child abuse in disguise as therapy in order to teach control reigns the autistic childhood, we learn silence. We learn stillness. We are erased with in our own bodies as much as possible. We are punished for existing. The best autistic parents even do parts of this because there is no voice that they hear, yet, from the autistic community. Our song has just begun.

The autistic culture is one of enforced shame, it is one where we deal with a lot of hate just for being. This is in part due to a lot of hate organisations like Autism Speaks, who sink their budget not into helping people but into quackery, negative ad campaigns and convincing newly minted parents of autistic children that their children are a burden. That their children will never live on their own, get married, have a “real job”, or anything that is valued as productivity. These parents are convinced that there is only pain in the life of the autist. So they create more of that pain, feeding it. I do not deny that a lot of things with autism really suck but I LOVE who I am.

How does one learn to speak? I think this how to might apply to survivors from many types of abuse. It is about regaining the voice. This process is not universal and is a general guideline to what I answer the most often when people ask me how I blog, how I advocate, and how I risk going out of my house being so far from the norm. I think I hide less and less of my abnormality. I celebrate it now, but it is an on going process and journey.  I wish there was a universal answer but here is what I worked out as far as what I do subconsciously and consciously that I can put to words.

1. When I want to be silent out of fear, I speak up and risk the consequences. This to me is the basis of self advocacy. Oppression is born in a culture of fear, so I must not obey the fear that tells me to be quiet. “If you are good and quiet nothing bad will ever happen.” If that was true I would be a far different person, because being “good and quiet” only lead to pain. It leads to secrets. Good and quiet would mean still being with my exhusband, it would mean watching my father murder my step brother with a frying pan, and it would mean condoning every act of rape, malpractice and other harms brought to me by people who tried to take advantage of my selective mutism, of my physical fragility and of my silence. Sometimes it is a small noise, other times it is a roar. Sometimes it is actually words. Sometimes a song. I am not silent. Not anymore.

2. When I am threatened, I do not revert to silence. Making noise leads to punishment. It leads to the threats that come in a variety of forms. I had a medical professional threaten and then withhold my pain medications on more than one occassion, because she did not believe I was not addicted. I suffered. I was then told if I kept speaking up to her boss about these threats and punishments she would have me black listed. I took that threat to her boss and switched doctors. I have a doctor now in the same facility. I wanted to be silent. She is no longer my doctor but treats others, thus I also am in the process of number 3.

3. Do not let the threat harm others. This is a mixed bag. The threatening person may be someone you cannot stop. This protection must never come at a cost you cannot live with. This means do not chase the axe wielding halloween monster, go for more qualified help. It means talking to someone’s boss, documenting issues. This is often what gets me to perform step 1. If the doctor was allowed to bully me with medications I needed and threaten my life that way, she would be allowed to do that to other people who may not be able to endure it, be able to adapt and if someone else spoke up without documentation I had, then I was harming that person. Thus i went to her boss in step two. As you can see these steps are not in order because they are more a mobius strip how to guide for living.

4. Document the threat. Little notes from my exhusband, recording the doctor without her knowledge as it is legal to do in my state, pictures of bruises. Those parents who send their autistic kids to school with hidden cameras and find out that not so shocking to any of us, abusers aer out there ready to harm your vulnerable chiild for being who they are.

The same process applies to why I write. I cannot put on a super hero cape, race about the world and fix it. I must slowly advocate for myself and then when I can on bigger projects.  I cannot advocate for others if I do not come first. i think back to my first few tries at blogging. I threw on a secret identity, I tried to hide who I was. Yes, there were other blogs before Textual Fury caught fire. I stumbled, I struggled with my words out of fear. Then I realized that was what i was trained to do and the rebel that lives in the core of my being took over and I wrote the first post here. As I wrote more and more the tone of my blog changed and I let out the “monster” i feared. It turned out that person is pretty darned cool and I began to push further and further out in the world as myself. I never hide anymore.

So how does someone conditioned their entire life to a culture of silence learn to speak? By doing. The posts I never share, those still happen, the poetry saved on my hard drive instead of published, facebook and talking to friends, gathering with other autistic people. Knowing what I know now those are just little things. It has to be something you want, so you have to stop hiding from the desire to write, to sing, to speak, to shout to be. The thing is? Just wanting to IS enough. When people ask me for help it makes me proud, not of me but of them. I am proud of every single person who takes on the difficult journey of learning to speak for themselves. This is not a challenge exclusive to autistic folks, though the culture of silence caused by shaming and abuse seems to be so prevalent among my people that there are no autists I know without PTSD or that they know. There are no autists without pain, suffering and a knowledge of abuse that is intimate and too close, that I know of… except perhaps those children being born right now. So we are learning to speak so that they do not face the battle of a life where our words are forced back down our throats until we choke on them. That is why I wrote this out. The how to on blogging is the same as other things. Baby steps, do what you can and try to do a little more each time. Cry, laugh, feel happy, feel good, struggle with it. Live.

I think of the others who came before me, for I was hardly the first blogger with autism out there. My brain does not want to write names but I can see faces, words piled up before me that create a beautiful sky and world. I remember the first moment I read something by autism speaks and it broke my heart and filled me with fear. Was I seen as such a monster? Did i deserve the abuse? I was a baby back then, not yet a woman and lost in a world of flying diagnosis where everything seemed to stick. Then I decided to find adults on spectrum too. Now I have loving friends who hold me close, even if it is just as text. Better as text since I can enjoy that. The diagnosis that stuck saved me so I could find out that no, those descriptions of horror are wrong. Even if I had never been able to live on my own, they are wrong. There  should be no shame in having a need. There should be no shame. So i am writing this for the people who inspired this post by speaking,by learning to speak, by asking, and by being.

I AM More Important Than Your History

Random thoughts as I woke up this morning, and began my daily motions crept into my head. I have been thinking about the acecssibility of my city, or the lack there of. The excuse I am given in new buildings is that the sticker on the door should be enough. Some places obviously tried and usually it shows in grand ways. Other places give the excuse that to put a ramp in, or wide enough doors would be destroying the historical importance of the building that their business sits in. I am more important than the history of the world. All people are.

I know that this makes me appear to hate history, yet this is the opposite of truth. My first passion in life was history and I have always loved taking part in reenactments. I am for preservation but not when the preservation includes the history of excluding others based on arbitrary things such as skin color or ability. I suspect that the place I live is far from the only one guilty of such crimes, yet I look at the excuses and they no longer work.

The first time I approached a historical building and there was no ramp, the excuse worked, because then I did not know my rights under the Americans with Disabilities act. The second time I was told this, the excuse did not work but I had no power. Since then I have regularly avoided the section of town that is considered somehow worthy of preservation. Even going along the side walks outside is difficult as the inclines on the “accessible” places are so steep my power chair cannot make it, and coming down the other side of these inclines would likely be an act of suicide. Old Town is lovely, and often has events that are free and meant to gather the entire community. These events only count if you are willing to burn out your chair engine, sink into grass, or sit on the only part of the side walk that you can get to that is safe. The excuse is history.

None of these buildings retains their original purpose. They are all shops selling the same tourist crap. There are a few restaurants but they too are selling the tourist crap. People claim native ancestry and sit out on the side walks, because this is apparently historical too and barricade the way. I have had people get angry at me for asking them to move so I can go past. Then there is the staring. For some reason people react more strongly to my presence in this section of town. The idea that a disabled person may be near these expensive shops, may want to see some old time gun battling, or in general may want to be on the side walk that has curb cuts at BOTH ends (an extreme rarity in this town no matter the section) boggles their minds.

I have found my response finally, for why they need to have access for me and others who are disabled. I am more important than your history. It is not my history if I am prevented from learning about it. It is not a history I can embrace when a store that is selling the same tourist thing as the one next door can have stairs and no entry and their excuse is history. I realized this morning that the lie does not work for a very simple reason.

All of these buildings have restrooms. Every single one has a place to go when your bladder is full, when the tourist trap food gives you a stomach ache, or when you need to check your make up. Every single one. All of these buildings were built without restrooms. Every single one. They were built with out houses in the back, all of which are torn down. If access is less important than poop, you are obviously not thinking straight. If you prize history over poeple, you lose vital lessons about people that history contains. Yes, the stories here are amusing, amazing, and important. So are the people who want to hear them and might not be able to.

So there it is, my reply has been cemented finally. Whenever someone plays the history card in this never ending game of poker for bigots, I have my answer. If you can put in an outhouse, you can put in a ramp. I am more important than your history.

Pandora’s Dollhouse (Trigger Warning)

I recently learned I have to play as an adult. There is a drive to create with in me that has always been there, and I think this is my inner child trying to escape. In the last month, which on some levels feels like more than a life time and on others barely any time at all, I have begun to play. I have also focused on eating twice a day at least, and without much preamble I can say I have only missed a few days and i still ate at least once on those days, instead of once or not at all.

I did not expect the effects of my discovery of play to be so drastic. I am a bit more emotional than I would like to be right now between hormonal fluctuations and pain, but those aren’t the only things responsible for my feelings being unleashed. I have found my innerchild locked away was not alone at all, but held on to happiness, sorrow, and joy in even greater potency. I have always been prone to passion, yet my passion feels less like a struggle now and more freeing. My creativity is sneaking out, even when my brain is so fogged over by hormones and pain I cannot think, and I am drowning in ideas.

For the first time in my life it is not terrifying to have too much thought and not enough to do about it on my mind. I am trying to pace myself but I want to race to the finish line of every idea NOW. I am thinking back to that moment at the end of November when I went and got that first Doll. She’s not a very good doll and I have mentioned before I am never buying Bratz again, but my Bratz doll was one I didn’t know if I wanted. I was paralyzed with a fear that I would pick the wrong doll. I was afraid too that I wouldn’t really want to play like my brain kept whispering.The moment I opened her packing, my hands shaking so much so that my carer did most of the unboxing, my heart racing and my mouth dry with terror over the unseen phantoms of wasted money and poverty I found something else.It seems I opened Pandora’s Dollhouse, and it was not full of unimagined horrors, but it was full of pleasure.

I have been playing every day, for the most part. Somedays I have been too tired to do more than eat and stare blankly at people while they try to communicate with the hormonal cement that was once my brain, before I pass out into sleep grateful to escape the confused body. Each day I flesh out older ideas, come up with new ones. Some days this includes my cutting doll hair or fine tuning their appearances in other ways. I am saving up to buy brushes so I can repaint faces, so I can recreate and change what these dolls are. I am making them my own.

I understand now the hairless barbies, I understand why I have hidden from Pink. Pink symbolizing feminine, that forbidden thing that I never quite meshed with. I understand why the idea of toys makes me cry in terror. I was unworthy for my entire life of these plastic idols of perfection, too imperfect to even get to pretend without punishment to be somewhere else doing something else. My brain became the attic where ideas were hidden away so that they could not be destroyed and I stopped being a child so quickly to survive it. I remember crying night after night after I decided to never play again. It hurt. This was my first brush with insomnia that I can recall, based on thinking. Not on pain of the body but of the mind.

I can pull up the experience as if it was now, just as when I imagine things I can overlay them on reality. I laid in bed listening to my siblings breathing as they slept, looking at the toys. I had been yelled at for ideas. I can’t quite recall the idea but it included Barbie not wanting Ken. My sister’s barbies. She had rejected Ken because he was not her ideal mate. I remember reminding myself that it was bad to say no. That I was a disobedient daughter and I had to get better at saying yes all the time so I didn’t go to hell. A hell I fear not because I was there. I grew up in hell.

My mind became a dystopian wasteland and I lost my love of pink and girly that night. I put it so far down so I could be a good person. My adoration of black and death is in part rebellion, for those things too had to be locked away. It was easier to lock pink down because the color has never tasted right or settled right on my brain, but most pastel shades of anything are adverse to my perceptions. I like rich colors, they feel better. When I touch them they feel alive. When I see them,t aste them, smell them. There is something more than a hint of a bitter flavor. I associate pastels with death. I tried to hide from joy because I associated joy with playing.

I wonder little now why by the time I started school I was already too weird for others. I was not just Autistic but I was a four year old who did not play. I did not understand that I technically played with my neighbor. That was different. Boy Toys were just as forbidden but they did not get me into trouble at the house. I think merely because my parents presumed my brother played. With in two years I did not play. I would read books, because most books did not get me into trouble. I would watch TV, if allowed. I would try to stay with in the boundaries.

This feeds my love of science fiction too. The struggle in the original series of V is about people who try to conform and fail, on one level. The original had depth of history behind it and many layers but it was the person unable to conform that was quickly persecuted for being a scientist. I failed to perform. I failed to adapt a way to play and not fear hell. So I built myself a mental hole and crawled in it. This was of course out of more than a dearth of play, but the abuse that inspired that lack of play.

I opened the first doll, and I have stuck to my rule. I am about to face the big challenge on my rule about unopened toys. Tomorrow I go to the comic book store for the last time. I go only once a year minimum and a maximum of six times. This is it. The end day. I face my action figures, that I must unbox. I feel afraid again.

My toys scare me. I know that by playing with them I am subverting parental messages. I am also struggling against a life time of training myself to not think. I am horrified by how much energy I have expended turning my brain off. I do this often before bed, I find ways to melt my thoughts so I can just go to sleep. I am not sure I am accurate on my reasonings now, I have always presumed that was due to physical pain. I am considering trying to not melt my brain sometime. I am considering a lot of things.

There is no closing Pandora’s Dollhouse. Inside of this dollhouse the seeds of creation live. Each child is given seeds to plant in their minds, and those that let them grow or have minds that are weedy such as in my case, can grow up to be creative and brilliant. They can do anything because they learned how to create worlds with in worlds as children. Pandora’s box has been demonized but what if the hope left inside was just a child’s toy? A small bit of creation?

Give your children toys and love, and they will change our world. It is not technology that is the root of progress but the teddy bear, the doll, the basketball, and the stories from the playground. Giving a child a toy is the equivalent of giving a scientist an unlimited budget for their works, it is the same as curing cancer, it is in fact what could have lead to the idea for the cure in the first place. A child’s toy is merely the key to training the brain on problem solving and for breaking down boundaries.

I now have toys marketed to girls and boys, and the only thing that could make them better? If they were just sold, no previous gender applications involved. Imagine a world where anyone can have a doll and that is awesome and wonderful?

Oh, and one more thing. My favorite toy isn’t one of the Monster High Dolls (at least Until Ghoulia Is Mine). It’s a Barbie named Becky who is the school photographer, has almost normal human proportions, and uses a wheelchair. One thing is for certain, unlike most houses in the world, Pandora’s Dollhouse is always accessible.

Pumpkin Pie (Trigger Warning)

a cat with silver fur, black stripes, has wide eyes and is being fed a bite of pumpkin pie

Not how thanksgiving looks inside my head

Pumpkin pie, soft, creamy, and since mine is crustless just a wad of soothing and cold chewiness. The scent trickles into my mouth to tease at me, and is the only Thanksgiving day food I can eat without becoming ill. Mashed potatoes are also fine but must be different than the recipes from my family dinners. No gravy, cheese, and almost always something in the food. Turkey, I can barely type the word. I can barely say the word. I will not eat it. I have been forced to by people using that vulnerability against me and I react to it with a mental allergic response. It is not somatic but the PTSD triggers hard and fast.

This is what I expect of Thanksgiving.

Yesterday I remembered something that has given me a sense of relief. Today as I continue to process the revelations I am left staring down the barrel of gender identity issues. I have had gender identity challenges my entire life. They base in my being autistic and as many other autistic women face challenges of being accused of decidedly unfeminine behavior so have I. There is a root with in the numerous and enduring sexual abuse that has dominated my life and was the end all be all of my childhood. From being prostituted to ministers and the supposed holiest people I know at the age of three and raped by my father to the rape at gun point by a high school boy who didn’t seem to understand this was why I stabbed him with a fork at school when he put his hand on my shoulder. I once tried to cut off my breasts to become a boy, and I have never really appreciated my femininity.I am aware there is more to this, including the fact that I am intersexed physically. I have testicles AND ovaries. Maybe if my mother had eaten, I would have been a male child. Maybe not. I do not consider myself to be of one gender in a sense but I am either feeling male or female.

I have spent years keeping this a secret, and in public I might still. Yet I am thinking this doesn’t matter. My carer knows. My best friend knows. My sister of choice knows. I know. To me this is who matters. I dress according to the way I feel, and even my male side is prone to wearing dark red lipstick. It feels sexy. I have fought and clawed my way through life trying to exist, and I have been told repeatedly that girls just don’t fight back. It is a fiction in a bad life time movie that women can ever do damage, we are eternal victims.

It wasn’t JUST the media that sent me this message. Nor was it subtle. It is my nature to fight back when I am in danger. I have very good survival skills. I am fully capable of killing you if you try to kill me. I won’t murder you but I won’t let you murder me. This has been unequivocally a part of who I am and I have wondered if when I was raped for the entirety of Thanksgiving weekend, so Wednesday night on through a Sunday night, when I was beaten and when the fragmented memories didn’t match the normal abuse patterns… did I even try to fight back?

Therapists told me no. If I had tried to fight back then he would have killed me. Except he thought he did and I have very real memories of meeting Osiris the god of the dead in Egyptian Mythology and having him put me back in my body and ordering me to live. I have marks on my chest that match where his hands were. My father wanted me to be dead, and did not try CPR. He thought I was dead. I don’t know about pulse checking and I am very aware that this could be a response to the very serious trauma to my brain from being bludgeoned with a gun, but I was left for dead.

My mother, who a child loves and believes on pretty much anything until Mother proves to be a person. No matter the health of relationship good or bad, Mothers do happen to be humans and thus the teenager occurs. Yes, my mother spent my entire life telling me that we don’t fight back in my family. The men are the abusers and the women in my family are there to be hit. She has said less of this to my baby sister but the message still is there. Women don’t fight back.

I have had mental hospital doctors torture me over my fighting back, I fought them and yet I was not allowed to have fought back against my father when I was alone. My agency was denied as children don’t fight back unless they are penis bearers. My father made it clear that if we fought back we would die but there are other memories of me fighting back. My siblings sometimes declared their hatred of me because my morals got us into a world of literal hurt. Then again they also wanted me to lie and I am still very bad at that.

When I was somewhere between 11-13 and was raped by someone else and I did fight back the police told me they wouldn’t let the boy press charges. I took a bit of rebar to his head, his father’s car, his house and let his dog go (never came back). I was willing to kill him for what he did to me and yet again, the police told me that women just aren’t allowed.

The media does this too. In movies it is extremely rare for a woman to fight back unless she was already a victim with years of self defense, hiding in terror and her abuser finds her and then she either kills him, takes him back and tricks him, or is rescued by the new romance in her life. Not just life time folks but block buster films. It is never with in the intial attack that a woman fights back. In horror movies, the attacks come in waves and it is finally after a breaking point, or the loss of all of the human shields that the female fights back and often still dies. Running away is good, as happens in horror movies with the cliched fall so the bad man can still get you. This is an acceptable reaction and is something I approve of, just don’t trip.

It is the female who is unfeminine in movies that is the villain. Either a caricature of a woman with sexual appetites such as Famke Jansen’s role in a James Bond movie or a woman who is something ugly, othered or is somehow defective. These are our female villains. Any villainous who is beautiful tends to not be acting under her own charms or supposedly it is more scary for a waifish beauty to be bad. Again, by being beautiful she is supposed to subvert the norms of who is acceptable with in a violent situation.

Women become their traumas. This is the other message I have struggled with my entire life. I was reduced not to a bad childhood but this single moment in a trauma filled life. None of my traumas are my identity even if they chipped some of the facets of my personality or left scars on me that changed the outcome of my personal growth to this point. The good moments in my life had just as much impact and I am the result of everything I have thought, read, heard, and learned. Every person I met, every person I did not meet. Every bit of media I have heard. It is not my trauma that makes me who I am. The Brave One, the entire premise of the film, which I linked above for my example, is that the woman is just her trauma.

This is a perception that removes the humanity from She Who Fights Back. You are no longer human but you are Rape. You are not actually a Woman, therefore it’s okay once more for you to be violent. There must be something wrong with you if you are a woman who fights back, this is the pervasive message I have been living with. There have been years I nearly killed myself over the simple fact that I did not fight back. I could not live with the idea that I did not, even as a small child, try to get away.

I remember when I first began to wonder why I didn’t fight back, it was after I was told by a therapist I would be lying if I claimed I had. I sat there quietly for the rest of our session, I was in a mental hospital at the time. The first time. I watched her face and I wondered if she had ever been hurt too, and if she had fought back. She had long plastic nails that she was tapping on her clipboard. I felt like she was angry at me, and my more experienced interpretation of her expression still reads anger. She went from someone I could talk with to a cold wall of rage when I asked about trying to get away or maybe hitting him back. This was just a few months after and I still had pain in my shoulders that radiated from the underside of the joint, and my hands were still swollen. In fact my hands have never fully recovered from the kick of the gun and my shoulder dislocations started then. We had fired guns before as a family, that wasn’t my first time but I never liked it because of the pain and the loudness.

Even as I am writing this I am playing in my mind the moment I picked up the gun. There was no hesitation. Something again that movies show. Women always hesitate with weapons. Men sometimes do, but they have the option of not. I pointed it at him. I remember his face. His eyes betrayed his shock, surprise, and then anger. I pulled the trigger. He didn’t get to mock me first, he didn’t get any lines out like the cliche, “You won’t do it.” He had lunged for me and I fired the gun until the bullets ran out. I have another new fragment but it is like a single frame of video. I see him in it with a police officer, but everything is hazy, I am just aware he is convincing them that nothing is wrong. This is new too, but I had never expected if the police came that they would rescue me. I learned that well before 1992. I just realized it couldn’t be 93, because my brother wasn’t born until AFTER this incident, I was off by a year.

So I have been fighting this for longer than I thought. I have found the most painful idea in my life was that I would just let him hurt me. This is of course not what happened, and no victim EVER lets their abuser hurt them. Even if you cannot or do not fight back, you did not give him permission. My personal battle was learning this. Fighting back is pivotal in my mind as something important. Even if you don’t win, you must try.

I know as an adult fighting back entails more than shooting or stabbing someone. It can be the moment you open the door and smell someone’s pumpkin pie and think “I am free”. Even if that is not true that little moment can give you a hint of the truth for years. The shifted association of foods during Thanksgiving from being all disgusting and triggering based on being raped, force-fed and torn apart with food as the supposed reason I deserved to be raped and beaten even pumpkin pie has confused me. Why was that pie safe? I still can’t eat my mother’s version of mashed potatoes. My father didn’t like green beans so those were safe until the allergies happened but the pie has been as much of a mystery to me as my wondering who I used to be.

I was not reborn in that moment after all, the idea was just a way of coping with the blatant lies I was told about who I was allowed to be. It is amazing to me how many people, in the name of supposed survival, reject the idea that women can be strong at all ages. This has effected my writing, my game play and what I could do. This is not trivial in any way shape or form. The core of who I was did not break, and that is important. My spirit never broke, and who I am is essentially the same on the base level as who I was before. This means perhaps I did not really lose my innocence but instead it was hidden away, so I could survive.

I do not cry much but I am crying now. How can I not cry for I know there are other little girls, women, people in between the male and female who wonder if they fought back. Who are told every day that this is an impossibility. Children do not have the knowledge yet to think critically about if people are lying, this is a skill we learn as we grow. A facet of being nuerodiverse in this world, and everyone fits in there somewhere, is that people learn these skills at different rates. The ability to critically assess a situation or the media is something that must be taught or it must be learned. Not everyone is capable of this and children have to learn from somewhere.

I am left questioning the validity of mental health for women, children, and anyone with chronic pain or PTSD. How can so many therapists male and female believe that women just don’t think of fighting back? Making self defense a taboo or something that is only allowed after a violation is incredibly dangerous. This is a part of the forbidden dialogue of rape itself. We are warned to not talk about rape as survivors. Victims may be unable to do so and a part of this is, even at the age of eight it was hinted that I deserved to be raped. Was eight year old me just so sexy she deserved it? That’s what I have been told. I also came forward with in the statute of limitations and because my father raped me I was told that my case just wasn’t worth the District Attourney’s time. They beleived me. They just didn’t care because I was a little girl. I have never forgotten being told I am not enough of a person, that wasn’t the first time but that was the moment I lost faith in the world itself and knew I stand alone.

Except I do not stand alone. Of all the lies that came out of this worst trauma it was the lie that I was somehow the worst female in the world, worst at femininity, worst at self defense, worst at being loved and that I was alone and no one else would know what it was to want to die, to suffer, or to fear. I was defective. I do not want to kill myself today, and this is the first thanksgiving in a very long time.

I am afraid for the children of this world. The messages that are being taught, the things that even adult women fetishize such as Twilight with its codependant pedophilic necrophiliac abusive manipulative beastiality domestic violence women stay in the kitchen marry for sex and all the other crap that Twilight is REALLY about underneath the sparkling vampires… these messages are the normal for our children not the exception.

The Allure of Jesus Christ (Trigger Warning)

I understand a part of Christianity that has eluded me for some time. The revelation came in the most sacred place in my house. On the potty. Toilets are wonderful for epiphanies. It’s as if letting out all of the shit and piss inside you gives you room for grand ideas or understanding. The tone of this paragraph alone should let you all know I am not quite up to my usual standard of gleaming joy despite all the depraved nonesense in the world at the moment. I think that’s okay.

I am sad over Rose again, and another friend of mine was attacked in her home. She called me and the police, and as the attacker, who most likely is the rare stranger rapist as her neighborhood which is the nicer one in her home town, has had a rapist murderer gallivanting about lately… well as he comes for her she calls me and asks me how to seriously injure him without killing him.

The beast was unleashed. It worried me, frankly because I wanted to have her kill him. I did not do so, at least unless she didn’t follow my directions correctly but the intent to kill was not there and the police are sure he will be fine. Potentially paralysed but a walker to the throat vs him raping and killing a friend? He deserves what he gets.

Yet, I entered a two hour period of extreme darkness. I don’t like feeling that way and I haven’t for years. Not even dealing with Him, aka ex stalker scary ahh, did that. I got dark, I got depressed but not on the edge where for a few hours I fantasized about ways to kill a man with a walker anally. Lets just say my mind has it’s dim corners and some that are pitch black and the lights went out. I am fine again. M the friend of awesomeness helped me sort it out but there I was, in my dark space.

The dark space isn’t anger, it’s fear, terror, and a certain helplessness. I cannot change that Rose was most likely murdered by her greedy and ungrateful children. I cannot change that a man broke into a friend’s home and attacked her. I can however say I protected one, and i could not protect Rose. I wish I could.

So my revelation is this, I had the thought, ‘If I could protect every innocent person, deserving person, and purge the world of people like Him, Steve, and the latest jackass that came to my attention I would die the most horrible death imaginable.’

So this is the allure of Christianity. It is that supposedly someone did just that. Except of course it is clear to me that their sacrifice failed. If Christ indeed existed. Since men wrote the book, about a man, and… it’s all… lies. I understand that the moral of Christianity is not the one they intend. They intend that we should all want this, to die for others and to all be great people. It just didn’t work out that way.

I still would die for my friends, family, and most everyone in the world if it was the only way to make things better. It isn’t so I am obviously not going to go and get boiled and skinned alive or something. Martrying hasn’t worked for millennia.

The thing is… I did protect my friend. I couldn’t reach for the phone and save her but I empowered her with my knowledge of how to seriously injure and or kill people, and quickly enough that she defended herself. A seriously disabled person took out the rapist murderer, not one of the able bodied rich whining bitches who had mace, tasers and food. A person spat upon by society.

I know my darkness has a purpose, because I have given it one. It’s there to remind me why I don’t want kids, who I could be easily without choosing consciously to live, and it is there to remind me of why I hate my mother. She and my father worked hard to twist me up into a piece of garbage. I chose to be something more than feces that marrs the brilliance humanity has to offer.

So I am stressed. I am sad. I am also moving forward. My paratransit interview is imminent, which means I get to take rides from strangers. I am working furiously on this music, but my sorrow is impeding the joy that the music should hold.

I also am being cuddled by Ebay cats. Sylvani has a thing for the bathroom. I think the accessibility and familiarity of a toilet, as she was I found out, allowed to go into the bathroom at the shelter has helped her to feel safer there. So she will at least come to me in there if nothing else, and there is plenty of other stuff.

Despite my frustrations, also made worse by a few weeks of severe insomnia, I managed an hour of sleeping uninterrupted. Since Sylvani accidentally cut my hand with her claws, I “punished” her by forcing her to be petted until she purred and fell asleep curled up in bed with her. I wanted to make sure she knew a little yelp of pain wasn’t the end of the world here, because her reaction was utter terror. The round eyes and the look that Sprite used to get when we would take out the trash, someone has hurt this cat over little things. She needed to know she was safe. Heck as I type about her she is now on my couch bathing and giving me this post nap look of contentment. The nap was hours ago.

Sprite and Syl are working very hard to make me happy, it’s working most of the time. I haven’t felt this sad in two weeks, and it’s not as sad as the previous sad and yet I am still triggered. Yet I am enjoying waking up to a cat who sleeps in my arms and looks like a stuffed animal, snores, drools, and chews her tail in her sleep. Sprite isn’t enthusiastic about sharing the bed with the kitten yet but she never got to where Nymph was allowed, she merely understood that sickness meant she had to do what Ny needed.

I am wondering what it will take for me to have that same sense of relief and release for Rose, that pure moment when I know it’s okay. I am obviously not converted to Christianity by my poopiphany. I just have a bit of comprehension about why people find it approachable. It’s a bit romantic along the lines of other things that are romanticised and creepy. Dying for your sins, before you are born. If I could believe reality worked with such things, then I would be full of joy at the thought, I would hold no ill will. Neither would anyone else. It’s that utopia thing that makes my brain scream and rage, because it makes no sense.

I know this was blathery and babbly, that’s a side effect of my having had a moment where I could have gone down the dark road. I just need to sleep it off. Or write a story where someone gets murdered by a zombie in a power chair.

Soul Lobotomy

As being a goth requires thinking on Death, I seem to fit that quite well. Of course not all Goths are actually death obsessed but I myself have always been. You see, I do fear death. It is not my death I fear, I accept that this is an inevitability. It is the deaths of others. Sprite is not handling Nymph dying well, and her behavior has started to reach the critical point when she begins to self mutilate. I am left remembering my own deeds of self destruction, and yet most of those times others would think of were the acts of them not me. It is a strange tangle. So in my worry for her I spent the day on the phone with the vet, who worked with us via telephone for free.

Our options are find a cat…. or trying antidepressants. I am certain that you all know what my decision was and my vet strongly recommended the cat over the drugs. I have crystalized the thoughts enough as to why she cannot be the only cat, and M my friend helped that by flat out asking why it is okay for me to put her emotional needs above my own.

I don’t think I am of course, but with animals and love in general I am a thousand times bitten and a million times shy so I never recover from a loss. The trust and love of any living being is far too rare for me. Sprite also keeps me alive and happy and healthy. The trifecta of need is met with in her compact furry form. So much soft fur, so much amazement.

So what is it that has her in such a state each time she is the only cat?

Some Sprite facts.

She has never been the only cat, except with me. The formative years of her life were spent first in a hoarding situation with a cruel cat hoarder. Yes they think they love cats but when you cannot care for them and there are so many that they are starving and just a trapped Pride of ferality, you are being cruel and need them rehomed. She then moved there to a crowded foster home. A shelter, a multi cat household with five cats, including herself. Then, back to a shelter. Another multicat household. A shelter where to save her from being euthanised she entered yet another cat household with a slew of people and cats. Two cats per person and at least five people, though I think it was way more. I forgot as it’s been a long time. Six years in fact. Then she moved in with myself, my roommates, and their two cats. She struggled to deal with just two other cats. IT took her over a year to adapt to that, and at first she self mutilated over being lonely.

Then I got married. She needed stitches from her self harm fit, and we got William Shakespurr. Even typing his name makes my ribs hurt, so there are regrets but not between Sprite and myself. After rehoming him once she started self mutilation there was Nymph. Sprite hasn’t been so depressed in the entire time I have known her. She is in some moments a shell of who she was. My eyes and nose have the tingle feeling that I associate with crying when i think of her pain.

So do I drug her and spend exactly the amount I have after rent for food and other bills? Nope. I am going to find a cat. The cat won’t be big, I will not risk my health for this cat. I won’t get the poodle off of Craigslist I found. A dog I could pet! Wee. It would be fine until it barked, licked me, had to pee, wanted to go for a walk, needed grooming, a bath… and of course there’s DOG food. Ick. We have a few caterviews coming up. The first one I feel won’t happen as the people with the cat first asked for 1000 for a mixed breed cat of no special intellect. They admit she’s a very stupid cat. Then again she was more likely spoiled than stupid, as the humans adopted her instead of a child. They cannot afford pet rent anymore. Something I do not contend with here thankfully. So we moved on.

Yet it was in this that my fears came to verbalisation. You see, I wake up and my first thought is rarely, “God damn I have to pee.” That’s my third thought. My first thought is, and has been since my first night with her. “Oh god is Sprite still alive.” My second has become, “Oh God is my secret love’s name here still alive?”. It leaves me shaking. Then I breathe, realize yes, Sprite is here. Go pee, and check to see if said lover is still alive. This has gotten worse since Rose died and a lot worse after losing Nymph. I am prone to going to my bedroom if Sprite is sleeping and waking her up just in case. I had gotten past that need just a few years ago. I will try again. By past, I do mean I just didn’t do it every few hours every day. About once a month.

In fact my fear that my loved ones will die was an issue with my ex-husband, as I would sometimes have to wake him up if he was too still or quiet. I would wait hours, biting my nails, trying to not cry and when I could stand it no longer I would touch him. Breathing isn’t enough, I need actual movement preferably with snarls of “I am sleeping go away”.

Somehow this lead to a promise that lead to a discussion of Greek Mythology, the details would give away identities of people who must remain secret so, shh… In the discussion of the Greek Afterlife aka Tartarus, I mentioned I would rather be in the torture section also called Tartarus instead of the Elysian fields or the very boring sounding waiting dock where people who cannot pay the boatman’s fee end up. No, the Elysian fields sound horrible to me. They are after all intended as a Utopia but one person’s Utopia is another’s meloncholic vision of sadness.

Imagine waiting forever for your loved ones. This is what you do there. You wait. They must die to join you, you are not aware they are dead, and so you spend your days at home, doing small things like cooking or cleaning. You do not remember them fully you just know you are waiting. You do not even know you are dead and the urge to explore or go beyond the simple tasks is removed from you.

What if you don’t have a loved one? What if your loved one goes to Tartarus instead? What if they become immortal? Do you wait forever? What if they are one of the chosen few who is allowed something else at the discretion of the god Hades? You are left to remember nothing forever. How is that utopian? It sounds more like a lobotomy of the soul to me.

As it is, I have found no conception of the afterlife suits what I would see as heavenly. Golden streets sound hideous and wasteful, and a heaven as the Christian Heaven was taught to me with no pets, gender segregation amidst other kinds (not wholly a universal tradition) but where there is need to fear attacks from hell, where again thought is not prized… this seems wrong to me too.

I cannot think of any widely known traditions that don’t make me sad, lonely, or a bit angry. Probability factors? All three. Some of my sorrow is my depression and aching heart over the lost friends. A lot of it is the sensation of insult that even in death I am relegated to doing what others would deem right for me and not what would make me happy in these supposed places.

I guess heaven would require me to be fulfilled by myself. Even that possibility is a requirement. I would demand full disclosure, instead of fading to a shade of my former self as the Greeks put it. So as I think of Rose and Nymph and what their heaven’s should entail i want to be remembered, I want them to know they are dead if THAT will make them happy, and if they want to wait for me great. If not? That’s fine too. I dislike the image of my friends being leashed until I die. In a way it’s a sort of a chain unless people become hermits.

Your mother loves her husband. He loves her. Your parents love you. They love your siblings. You and your siblings marry and have children. You die, you and your parents and siblings are now all dead and waiting. Your children and grand children are alive. They reproduce, or even just fall in love or make friends with people on the deep level. Now you are all waiting.

The waiting never ends.

Anyone up for a Soul Lobotomy?

A Year After Survival (Trigger Warning)

It was a year ago that I was sitting in that place, full of filth and disease. It was a year ago that Anthrax threatened my flesh and my mind was as damaged. It has been a year since in desperation I misdialed the number that lead me to finding my current apartment where I met my case manager who shares my name, where I escaped not just the first but the second bad carer, and where I began to heal. It has been a year.

It has been a year of utter devastation in some other ways. It has been a year of great loss. Death has haunted me my entire life from being forced to help my father kill on to the loss of every pet Grandma ever took in to shelter for us or my mother helped rehome, the death of my best friend, the death of Nymph, and the deaths that I felt uncomfortable mentioning. That would be the deaths of allies in advocacy, some of my heroes, but death has been here. In some moments I feel death is mocking me for living by taking everything that is important to me. I think that’s grief. I know it isn’t the actual facts as death is merely a part of life but my feelings do make it ache.

It has been a year of distance. I have started to step away from people that would perpetuate the year of Torture, people that do not understand this is not normal or healthy. Or family that does not respect that I damned well have a right to live in peace without being treated like a monstrosity for not doing things their way.

It has been a year of tears. I have cried more in the last year than I have in most of my life, yet this is a wonderful thing. Though it means I am wounded and grieving, when have I not been? I cannot remember any moments without pain until the last few years of my life and this year has held a majority of good.

It has been a year where I have admitted I am in love with someone. I have been for a very long time, albiet against my will. I love myself. I love Sprite. I love Rose. Still. Death doesn’t cancel out love. I adored and loved my little Nymph friend. I love M my friend. I love. I love. I love.

It has been a year of hope. I started to dream again, not the literal way but the hopes and dreams of a life beyond struggling to make ends meet, a life beyond this desolate place where I have never been able to leave. I hate New Mexico, and I always have. it has been a year of great achievements. Partly because I am still here and kicking.

My 26th Birthday is approaching and I am going to have people over to celebrate. I feel strong enough. I feel safe enough. I still want to flee this place. Yes it has been a very hard year. What year isn’t going to be hard? I have a laundry list of illnesses and disabilities, I have a mind that just won’t shut up, and I honestly cannot imagine life without a challenge. I truly think it would be boring.

This year I have learned some things about myself…

1. I have a very interesting life. More so than many people have. My life could be a great work of fiction, it would make a great movie series because each year holds enough action to make Harry Potter wish he had my level of danger, daring, and doing. I would still not wish this life on anyone but I also wouldn’t change it. My life has never been boring. I cannot say I haven’t been bored, but it’s been a very long time and that’s why I stopped enjoying school that first year.

2. Love. I has it. (Imagine a lolcat saying that if you would please.) I have always been capable of great love, like all my emotions when I love someone animal or human it is with all of me. There is only a set of extremes inside of me, so my love is extreme and comes with a side package of loyalty and trust. You can of course get rid of parts of this but I will always love you once I did before. I love my father. The evil bastard. I am still glad he is dead. I love my mother. The pathetic damsel in self imposed constant distress. I am still not going to invite her in, as that’s the rule with vampires of all varities. I don’t love my grandmother. I never have. She has always been a caricature of torment to me, even when torment was normal and acceptable in my world of Hitler fanatic parents and abuse. She’s always been worse than my father. I will sadly always love my exhusband. The thing is, I will love who he appeared t be not who he is. I will love the love of my life who knows who they are. There are no caveats there. I will love them and there is nothing anyone can do to stop that, even myself. I did try… I will love Sprite forever. I find the idea that she is my furry wife or soulmate, the wife thing starting as a joke about the supposed women’s duties which she does. She feeds me, clothes me, holds me and satisfies most of my needs but not the carnal ones is accurate. I glanced at her just now sitting in my new wingback chair and she looks so sad right now, and we both are because… I will always love Nymph. Even though she is gone and even though I had to let her die, I will always love her. I will probably always love the next companion Sprite gets. That happens sometime this month.

Yes, a year of love. I will always love myself. I didn’t used to. Even through the years of survival and struggle, even being “better” than the text books tell you someone with my level of PTSD, disabling, even with Autism, even with taught body hatred (fat, not blond, not able enough, just not good enough for anyone (Thanks Mom!)). Yes, Even then I never quite got the hang of looking at myself and seeing a person of value. I came close, a few years ago I started to get there most days. For the majority of this year I have loved myself. When puking from pain and or illness? Check. When unable to shower for two weeks because it hurt too much so I ended up wanting to claw my skin off to make myself clean? Check, that’s why I didn’t let myself lose my flesh to my fingers. Even when I felt it was my fault irrationally and that somehow I deserved being penned in a room and starved and raped? Yep. I still felt beautiful and at peace. That one really threw me for a loop. I haven’t felt that the abuse is my fault for most of the time since this started. The nifty side effect is, I don’t see ugly people anymore. The majority of people outside my door or online or people who aren’t movie stars are all stunning to me. Movie stars hate themselves usually, they abuse themselves and that does uglify them to me. Self hate isn’t pretty.

I love.

This has been a year of food. On my birthday I am going to make (with my carer) a food I haven’t let myself have for three years. The last time I ate it was when my ex was a fiancee. Penne Rosa. This decadent dish is my favorite. It pwns lasagne. I didn’t even notice I had deprived myself of it. I did so out of anger with myself, so I must forgive and eat the deliciousness. It’s expensive to make and very rich food. It’s something I learned about when I was a chef. Yet despite depriving myself of Penne Rosa without acknowledging it subconsciously I have eaten very well this year. This last year has the advent of Meat Cake into my life, the flavor is very rich, it’s not salty but it isn’t plain. It’s meat cakey. It is the most delicious savory food I have had in a while. I consider pasta’s sweet. I have reclaimed the Quesadilla. Despite living on them for a year, two months ago I found they no longer make me want to puke. So snake food is a go. I have had the advent of the Dilly Bar into my life. Butterscotch or cherry please? Some of the changes are based on the local area discovering Gluten Free, so I now can have bread or pizza at my whim (and ten dollars total ingredient cost, not twenty for cardboard). I also started only eating food that tastes good. THis happened in January.

This has been a year of the evolution of appearance. I stopped hiding under horrible black hair. Black hair is great on other people, and I can pull of the sickly goth look with it but despite being Goth, looking like I am dying isn’t something that feels right. I like being on fire, not literally since we’ve been there before, but with my red hair, my fierceness showing in my eyes and rich red lipstick. I figured out that anything I wear is goth. I am a goth. I am wearing it. Still not a fan of blue though. My war against only wearing black was lost. I feel comfortable there, I feel sexy. I still do wear other colors, mostly reds and greens. Still. Despite trying to listen to what other people said my fashion identity won out. Some of the evolution is the loss of ballgown length skirts. Wheelchairs don’t like them. They like to eat them. So I must streamline my tastes. Alas. Alack. It’s a bit fun actually. I also started wearing black eyeshadow more often. I am still waiting on that corset, it apparently was lost in the mail and the company I am working with is not getting repeat business. That’s been going on for over a year now. When I get it, I still want to take those sexy photos. Unshaven lets are sexy.

This has been a year of creative goals. I haven’t been alive enough in recent years to write music, act, create, share. In the last year I have written several audio dramas, some are still in need of work. One is being produced and I have a voice acting role in it. I’ll share when that comes out and it will be free. I am composing a soundtrack for something that should air on most radio stations nationally, potentially internationally. I am writing a book on PTSD. I have had requests for a book on Autism, as I explain both in a way the Nuerotypicals understand, without them thinking (at least supposedly and this is my goal) that everyone with this label is the same. I am writing period. I am considering writing three books at once but for that my head may explode.

This has been a year of discovery. I am discovering it’s okay to not like TV. Sure, I had roommates with TV addictions and that contributed, but TV doesn’t work well with the way my brain works and that’s JUST FINE. I don’t have to be a big TV watcher. I also no longer want to write for TV, because TV and I just aren’t a match. Frankly, that’s a stress relief to admit. There is a reason that after becoming a TV/Movie critic I broke down for a while and had to quit. TV is TORTURE. I get physical pain, and I can’t see for crap so why bother? Audio dramas are more suited to me though some still fall prey to those isms that annoy me, anger me or otherwise fill me with epic disappointment… more often I find that the writers are more independent in their creation, and therefore they get a more “open” piece. The editing work I have faced with mine has been mostly grammatical errors. If there is something that I am told to change because being a wheelchair user who can kick isn’t real, I also learned I can say “I am a wheelchair user and I can kick like a donkey. I just fall over afterwards” and explain the whys, the editor accepts this and lets me know. It’s an open dialogue. Much better than the editors I had when I wrote as a kid. Then again I am an adult now, so there is a lot more respect for me instead of incredulity at my age etc etc etc.

I discovered a wheelchair that fits your needs means if you can walk a bit, you do. I am more physically active with my wheelchair than I was without it. It’s exhilarating. I am also mentally freed of unnecessary pain. I am not sure unnecessary is the right word, perhaps it is treatable pain that isn’t treated? That felt too long and needed qualifications. I have discovered that living alone is best, so even though I am in love and would marry said loved one if it was merely a matter of mind and heart that marraige won’t work unless we get a house with two kitchens and two bedrooms (well… three, Sprite needs one too). I have discovered that people get my jokes, even the bad ones. If I list all my discoveries my word count will be in the millions.

I have discovered that I like my dreams being nightmares for others. Today I dreamed I lived in a sitcom world, in fact I moved in with the family from “Family Matters” though some of them were from “The Fresh Prince of Belaire”… it was great but I was scared. I was scared that they would figure out I wasn’t belonging. I was scared that being not a TV type would get me ousted. I am not sure why my mind selected those shows, perhaps because Will Smith was a childhood crush? Perhaps because Urkle’s awkwardness made it safer? I was still scared and in my dream even wondered if my consideration of what a nightmare is, is different than others. A nightmare means you are terrified. I am not afraid of hoardes of demons but I am afraid of Uncle Phil telling me I am just not good enough. Also stairs but then, I can’t get up them.

I have discovered I dislike most comedy films, as their humor relies on othering people and as an outsider it hurts instead of humors. This of course is well known to many. I have discovered Twilight worries me for the safety of Stephanie Meyer. I suspect she is in an abusive relationship or will be, as her inner soul shows a romanticism of very dangerous things. I have discovered that when Sprite is sad she cries loudly, and I cannot. I don’t “boo hoo”. Just as when I fight physically I am quiet. It’s not ninja as some have accused me of but it is the knowledge that being loud means you get hurt more. I am trying to cry with sound now.

I have discovered that mathmatically based on the sale ads my friends in California have sent me food may be cheaper there than here. Also, the foods I can eat are more plentiful. I secretly dream of fresh strawberries that won’t rot before the week is out. I have also discovered that housing is so expensive there it is beyond my ability to actually comprehend it. There is a literal disconnect in my mind.

In this last year, I have embraced my dreams. I have begun to not fight them, but to let them flow. I learned at a young age to control my dreams, and I wish I had not despite it being fascinating to be aware I am dreaming. I wish I had known I sleep better if I let myself dream about stabbing someone to death. The person is always evil, and I am always saving the defenseless. It is not murder but romanticised heroism. It still scares me, and I wonder what others dream about that they feel is wrong. I have had more sex dreams too. I no longer interrupt those but ride the passions out to see where they go. Usually? Orgasms. It has been a year of sleep. I still face insomnia but I am less tired, less angry, less cranky, and more able to face the world when I sleep and dream.

It has been a year of thought. I have not stopped thinking in my dreams or awakeness for over a year. I can usually sleep through it but as I wrote about before, sometimes it is so bad I can’t sleep. I have always been this way but I no longer tell myself it means I am crazy. Well, I am but I think it’s a good thing. Non crazy people tend to be very dangerous and terrifying.

It has been a year…

So what will this next year hold for me? Will I die before my next birthday (27)? Every year a doctor tells me I will… so far they’ve been very wrong. Will I go a whole year without someone trying to hurt me? I really hope so. Will I write seventeen novels and leave poverty behind and build a castle outside of LA with two kitchens and a cat kitchen? Probably not. The novels? Okay maybe one or two… The Castle? Give me a few years.

Will I start my band? Yes! We’re up to two other musicians now, which is real progress. Will I make my CD? Yes! Will I keep blogging? Yes! Will I get another cat and love it even though I really don’t want to and didn’t even want to get Ny because I was afraid she would die and am doubly afraid now for Sprite and future cat? Yep. Will the cat die? Probably not. Will I ever have that damned yard sale I have been trying to have for a year? Nope!

Will I survive another year? Yes. In fact, I believe in this next year I will thrive. I know for a fact I will begin making jewelry again. I already have. It’s super slow based on my limits but I will make it. I am learning to make chainmaille, and I will have a chainmaille shirt (not made by me, I want it before I am 70), I will go out after dark sometime too. I will have sex. I will buy a glass dildo. Possibly to use during sex but I may be selfish and not share that toy. I will keep going on and on.

I admit sometimes I wonder if I will even know when I am dead because I haven’t stopped. I am a clockwork humanoid in some ways, ticking on and on. Yet the rest of me is in fragments of my imagination. Sometimes I am a barbarian warrior woman, somewhere between Red Sonja and Xena. Sometimes I am just a princess, with the means to protect the people who don’t have enough and cannot fend for themselves. Sometimes I am a demonic seductress. Sometimes, I am a butterfly. Sometimes I am just myself and I am somewhere else.

When I seek out peace, I find it in my mind again. It has been a recent return to that quiet garden in my mind. Now there are new roses growing and new butterfly bushes too. It is still quiet there, this is the only place a lack of music is not a worry mentally. I have missed my secret garden, and I find though I did not tend it, I never really have. It has always tended me. It is here that my glass hearts grow and often break. It is here that my mind is a mix of vines and flowers, towering trees and hollow logs with new lychen and moss growing over them. It is here that the outside world and inside meet. This is my subconscious and it is where I often look at myself, and I wonder. This is a place where Sprite cannot follow. This is a place where I once mistook Heaven. This is a place I have not had for more than a year, and perhaps it was a memory from never.

In the last year I have unrepressed a hoarde of memories. Perhaps they are the demons I slay each night? I am aware of multiple murders by my father, both very similar. I am aware. I have acted. It is a pain, but this is the necessary pain. If I leave these memories buried they will poison me. The little girl that screamed so long is not screaming anymore. She still cries but she is now sheltered in that garden and at times she laughs and plays with the other people there. All of them are me. The orphan girl. The innocent one. I never really knew her before. I know talking of my past identities this way is also what caused people to try and force me to think I had fractured my mind and was dealing with multiple personalities. I finally understand that doctor’s diagnosis. Even my mother knew it was wrong and argued with her, which speaks volumes. Yet, I am aware that each trauma that locked a part of me away killed the previous identity.

In this last year I have been reborn. You have witnessed this birth through my writings and I am aware now that if any flower represents me it is the lotus with it’s many layers and blossoms. I am on a journey through each of the lotus layers of my life. My sensei told me that once and he said that he could not explain it to me but i would understand it one day, perhaps when I was very old but he hoped that I would do so before I was “ancient as the stones”. Remembering him, I remember why I am who I am. He did not act alone in the previous years to shape me but he set this foundation of fine stone. Without him, there would be no Kateryna Fury. There would be no person here. There would be no memories left. I would be dust and ashes long forgotten or remembered only with my mother’s hatred. There would be tear stains and bloodstains at most, no one would notice I was gone.

a hispanic woman stands naked in a black brace a severing wound goes down her throat and torso revealing an ionic column that is fractured in multiple=

It has been a year of Survival. Yes, I survived. Yes I fought harder and harder than I thought possible. I did not fight alone for the first time in my life. I did not starve. I did not hate myself. For the first time that I can remember I do not feel like Frida Kahlo’s broken column. My pillar is whole. It has been rebuilt, not replaced and not forgotten. It still has cracks, yet it is stronger than it has ever been before. I may live alone, but I am not alone.

I also know this is visible to others, though I didn’t think on it or expect that this would be so. I look alive. I no longer am carrying the burdens of forgotten crimes or crimes that i didn’t need to carry. That alone has set me free. Though I am sad at this moment, I am not shattered. My heart is reborn. I am the Lotus. I am the Warrior. I am the Writer. The pen is not mightier than my sword, but it is as double edged and I carry both.

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