The Last Post

Textual Fury is now an Archive. Below is the last post written here.

 

Something I have noticed about abuse is, when you speak out about it invariably people will defend the stalker, rapist, or abuser. They do not know this person, and they may know the victim but there is something ingrained into the world that has trained us that anyone speaking up about abuse is lying. Its fascinating to me, on several levels. In part this fascination exists because it shows how widespread and systemic abuse is. This is perhaps where some people will think this is me talking rape culture, but rape culture is actually only a facet of the problem.

One of the first steps an abuser takes is gaining power over their victim, by making certain their victim feels fear. This is done by threats, sometimes violence, and it encompasses all you love. It can be a threat against your mother, father, siblings, pets, or other people you care for. The abuser can even be one of those people threatening themself. “I’ll kill myself if you go.” Especially with a parent this creates the false burden of responsibility on the victim. This act also includes the beginnings of erasure and silence. To protect yourself you must not talk about the abuse, because they will hurt you and whomever they threatened.

Sometimes this is true. Sometimes getting help, breaking those rules is costly. The most dangerous time to be abused is when you leave and when you get help. This is widely known for people who are leaving abusive spouses but what is less widely discussed is for children with abusive parents. The only acceptable victims in society are women being beaten, but never raped.

Why does acceptability matter? If its okay for me to admit I was beaten  by my husband but it isn’t okay for my step father to admit that he was beaten by many of his wives there is no room for him to ask for help. If it is only acceptable for children to be abused in certain forms, then there is no help for some of the most dangerous types of abuse. We do accept that sexual abuse occurs in this society but we deny at the same time the rights for aide to those victims and even children as young as I was when I took on an adult abuser and got him arrested, endured a trial, all of four or five? They have to prove that they weren’t ‘asking for it.’

There is no need to forgive or redeem your abuser. Often when breaking the rule of silence, which perpetuates even now that I am no longer being abused, people will ask me why I don’t just forgive my abusers. That isn’t my job. Forgiveness isn’t something you can just hand out on plates like cookies. Forgiveness is an act that one can only do for themself. I forgive myself, and sometimes struggle even after, for my mistakes. I made the mistake of emulating my abusers for a time in my teens, and I had to learn that this while not being okay doesn’t make ME a bad person. The line between the abuser and victim can be thin, and many victims become abusers to protect themselves. I did. I also learned another way, and it was far from easy. In doing so I learned why my abusers used Christianity as a cover. The easy get out of hell free card of saying “Well God I fucked up again, oops sorry.”

This is not how all Christians use the forgiveness they feel of their deity and in fact I learned the truth, for me, of Forgiveness from my friends who are very religious. It was in my quest to understand how they can believe in something that my experiences showed me the worst side of that they showed me how forgiveness works. I accept what I did wrong, I strive to change how I react, enact, and choose so that I do not repeat that mistake. I accept that I am still a person worthy of life? That is part of forgiveness. That relief when you realize you have survived can be forgiveness too.

You do not have to forgive anyone else. Its strange, counter to many of the vapid platitudes and cliche statements society throws out but many of those are things that enable abuse. “Everything happens for a reason.” “God wanted to put you on this path.” “God has a plan, this was just part of it.” “Forgive and Forget.”

Forgive and Forget to me is a most dangerous sentiment. If you forget your abuser’s actions you let them repeat them. Having a brain injury and spending years without knowing what happened? I became aware of how dangerous forgetting is. It isn’t inherently permission when it is not your choice but willfully ignoring the patterns that abuse takes can get you killed. Forgiving your abuser and looking away as they hurt others or yourself is not in fact healthy. All my life I was told to forgive and forget, up until my mother was hurt by a violent exhusband. Then? She was suddenly okay with not forgetting but still was hell bent on the world forgiving.

When other people require you to explain your abuse, they aren’t necessarily doing this to hurt you. Some people live without abuse. I cannot imagine that. I struggle to imagine happy family time. I get a bit of a headache trying really but I know it exists. My friends have often proven this to me, books have, it is just not something I have experienced first hand. Sometimes it is a case of the opposite extreme, where someone has little to no experience with abuse so they cannot fathom how your mother wanting to know how you are and ignoring your requests, which to them are odd, to be left alone is bad. They don’t know how stalking is bad, because the media has few examples of it not being a victim over reaction. They cannot know the fear that curls around you and pierces you because their experiences have none of that.

I admit fully I am jealous of these people. I admit that I am also happy for them. Its a strange combination and again it is another moment where the standards we are taught do not inherently line up. There are healthy forms of jealousy. I can be jealous of the small child who I see laughing and hugging their parents because I never had that, but my jealousy does not make me want to destroy it, I want more of it for them. Jealousy is only toxic when you let it be a reason to hurt others.

This blog has always been about breaking silence. That is why I am not deleting it. I have come to a decision that I put off for a while, trying less drastic things than wiping out my internet identity, my real life one too. I feel a strange peace with this now, which I did not feel before, but it is time. Textual Fury will remain as an archive, but I am not going to let myself feel that fear. I have begun the process of deleting my facebook, while retaining contact with the people who matter most to me. I have already destroyed my old email. This is the hardest one of all. I cannot say I will ever stop writing, but my growing silences over the years are related directly to stalking, abuse, and crappy health in that order. I am a survivor and so are many of you. So I am trusting myself. I am trusting that this is the right decision.

Deleting this blog would be part of the trend of silence. Instead I will write the rest of my novel, I will write another one, and another one. My silence cannot be bought. I am going to only get louder. I am grateful to you all for supporting me for the last few years, to the people who find this blog and find out they are not alone? I am happy for you too. I leave this blog up as a symbol of rebellion, a ringing bell, and because I love everyone in this world, and I want the best for them. It just cannot be at the cost of my own safety. This action doesn’t make me give up freedoms, by letting go I am gaining them and a sense of security. It is rarely both, and it is not easy.

Why Bullying isn’t Healthy for ANYONE, a post intended for Karen Kabaki Sisto (Trigger warning for everyone else also I cussed a bit))

I know I have not posted in some time but the surgery I had and slew of failgivers and bad agency issues took my writing spoons for survival. I am just getting settled with my new carer from a new agency and this article has come out that I cannot even finish. This post like most of what I write has a trigger warning for a reason.  Here is the article by the person I am chewing out below.

Dear Karen-

I am calling you out. The initial title of this post? You better run bitch. Why? The internet is coming for you. You see you did something stupid. You wrote an article that promotes bullying. The idea that bullying is acceptable for anyone is already disproven. Children die daily because they cannot endure bullying and the pain it is caused. These are not just autistic children but children across the human spectrum, some of whom fall into the category of normal. People of all ages are bullied for skin color, eye color, hair color, weight, ability, and so many things I cannot list it all. Bullying is always arbitrary and boils down to psychological trauma that sometimes never heals. It shatters confidence.

The article, as far as I could read sounded like my mother. I deserved to be bullied because it would make me stronger. I was weak because I couldn’t take the pain. That is bullshit. I am not weak. Medically, I admit I am, but mentally I have dealt with things people should never be able to imagine coping with, and I am still alive. I have spent my life aware of death itself because of my body and more so my family. My family of monsters. I am angry this was written because there will be people who do not think before they act, and will traumatize already fragile people. Autistics get bullied all the time, this simply removes potential resources. Of course this is also from the people who created the ABA system of abuse. They call it therapy but I mean mother fucking abuse.

In the end I cannot stand by and be silent on this. Bullying caused me to cut myself. With my medical conditions this could be fatal. I thought between my parents and the other children I deserved pain. I thought that if I cut myself maybe they would stop. If I hurt just a little more I would be purified by that pain and worthy. Some of this is through the lense of absurd religion but not all of it is. I am crying as I write this because I know out there people are dying a slow death from bullying and this article will cost them dearly. I am crying because I cannot protect them if I am silent. So I am roaring.

Here are ten effects of bullying regardless of autism.

1. PTSD- Post Traumatic stress is not a choice there is no pushing through it and it can forever undermine self confidence. Avoiding triggers is the treatment, and like avoiding allergens to not die or spontaneously combust into hives and anaphalaxis this is not really effective because its impossible. Anything around at the trauma from a scent, lighting, touch, voice, words, or even clothing can become a trigger and you will not know until you find out the hard way.

2. Lowered Confidence- Confident people succeed. We do. I had to rebuild myself and am lucky I could but not everyone is able to do that with or without help.

3. Depression- This too can feed lowered confidence and can get you bullied. Don’t feel u p to anything because you hurt so much and are sad? People WILL bully you for that. Depression is hard to live with and bullying is a cause. Depression is also painful and often causes people to kill themselves.

4. Lower grades- You do notlearn when afraid, you learn less when stressed. There must be a safe place for people to go to learn. Living without one creates a priority of survival not education. You can’t focus on algebra because you are focused on not sitting wrongly, or the physical threats that bullying can entail. Sometimes people even drop out.

5. Social Isolation- Bullying makes it harder to make friends. Cliques aka human herds are social. While not every autistic is social many are, and this deprives them of the opportunity to make friends, to learn because a bully takes out your friends too. No one wants to endanger themselves for a stranger. Sometimes not for people they know. Bullies are dangerous, predators even.

6. Health issues- Bullied for weight? Well you may just end up anorexic. Bullied with physical violence? You could end up with serious physical trauma that disables you. It can also be BOTH THINGS. Bullying can even cause sexual dysfunction, increase the trauma of having puberty, and living in stress is also just bad for you. Hypertension, heart issues, bad diet, inability to sleep just to name a few.

7. Violent Retaliation- I have written about it before, but I nearly blew up my high school to kill everyone so allthe pain stopped. I also realized this was not healthy and stopped myself. Not everyone has that ability and sometimes these victims make more victims in a violence chain reaction. School shootings, the shooters are often bullied. This isn’t once or twice. Its not “Just Columbine”. Its also not always so clear cut. I became so afraid of bullies and had no safe home and ended up hurting the only friend I made before I was an adult because I didn’t have the ability to think past the fear and she touched my food. Yes I was also abused at home but a lot of bullied kids are, not just the bullies and sometimes those bullies have healthy home lives despite what the Film Industry/TV Industry tropes are.

8. Alchohol and Drug Abuse- Oddly bullies tend to be more prone to drug and alchohol abuse in some studies than their victims but compared to non bullies/bullied people both parties are much more likely to drink. Bullying is not just bad for the victim but creates bad mental hygiene for a life time.

9. Criminal Records- I can vote because my mistake of assaulting my friend came at the right age but not everyone is so lucky to get help and both violent responders to bullying and bullies still have to live with the consequences of their actions and reactions for life. I can’t forget, even with two brain injuries, the realization that I nearly killed my friend. I have to live with that feeling forever. Any time I think of her, it is there. A reformed bully joins me there but often they continue to escalate into other criminal behaviors, as bullying is another word for assault in MANY areas.

10. Missed Opportunities- Bullies and their victims both miss opportunities. Later in life the victim may be successful, needing to hire someone. The bully applies and… I would not hire them if I was in HR. This applies to non work things too. I have forgone games and social outings because an abuser/bully was there. Sometimes I tell the bully/abuser to fuck off, but I am an adult and aware of my power. I am the rare person who despite all of the crap they endured is able to do so. Its not common.

I am I think the sort of person who inspired this false and illogical article. I am strong. I am tough. I kick asses and take names. I push myself and sometimes I can’t get past the bullying. It still hurts me. That isn’t stronger. Stronger would be less of that. If I had not been bullied at school I would have had a refuge. Not having that? I tried to kill myself a few times and failed. I didn’t get found or helped, I just didn’t do it right. I am glad of that but telling me that I am stronger because of this is an insult to my intelligence, common sense, and every autist on the planet. I understand the writer wants to justify their being a bully, but I hope ANYONE with children near them runs, because this isn’t a red flag. This is a sign that reads: I am an abuser. I will hurt you. I will hurt the ones you love. I will forever scar the minds of innocents. I am also not qualified for anything. Not even McDonalds.

No one should be bullied. Autistic children are much more vulnerable, as we still cannot even be guaranteed education, access or care. We are discriminated against at all levels. I have been denied access to medications because of autism, endangering my life. I have been denied access to necessary law enforcement. Autistics are already trained to obey everyone, by ABA which the author supports. We can ill afford more of the same. It is much arder to stand up and say no. A lot of the reason Autistics struggle with these things swings back to being bullied. Bullying is abuse. Calling abuse healthy is assinine. A lot of this post was edited to remove the word fuck and many other unfriendly epithets to the originator of that piece of shit article. I am still cursing in it because frankly, that fucking piece of trash article deserves to be called exactly what it is.

Karen Kabaki Sisto M.S. CCC-SLP I hope you read this. I hope you understand that this paragraph was originally cursing and I hope you learn something. Bullying doesn’t give any perks. Putting the burden of the victim on making it about team work, autism awareness every month, claiming we learn verbal skills when we are terrified of being harmed, grow stronger, gain friends, and a better well being shows me you have NOT looked at the effects of bullying at all and are either high or stupid. Self Esteem is often low in autistic children because of bullying. Please, quit your job. This is not said lightly but quit your job. You don’t belong near vulnerable people.

I will be blogging extensively about your article and I hope you get this on your “other folder.” I also hope you read my article. As an autistic adult I am more qualified than you are to deal with autism and you have proven to be the least qualified hack  since Jenny McCarthy. For your education here is a link from me to you, about the risks associated with bullying. I didn’t consult it, because I know them by living them.

The Art of Happiness and Reflection and Mother

Sometimes I am not sure what makes our brains do what they do, though given that science is not either I suppose getting it at all puts me a step ahead. I am adjusting to this happiness thing. Its an omnipresent pleasant sensation that has no real sensory equal. I like it a great deal, and am often just sitting in the moment and feeling that purr deep in the space between mind and body. I am also reflecting a lot on my past. It is not painful, and if it feels so I stop. It is different than when my brain screams to understand something but is more a cataloging of how I achieved my joy.

When I can I do this by looking at pictures. I am not posting them here because mostly I do not want to look at them again. I look back and see a twisted body, heart, and mind. I see in the pictures my pain, and remember just how I got into that tight spot. Then I put them away and look at the reality. My body is not better off but it is stable again. My competent doctor, I will always revel in having a competent doctor, has helped in such astounding ways. The simple gesture of trying medicines in a different family that I am not allergic to unlocked a door for me. Its such a simple concept and it does mean malpractice on all fronts. It was never a lack of medication options but a lack of damns given.

I find my mind is not quieter despite being happy. It babbles on and on, noticing everything and pushing on to seek and discover about itself, about the world. I am so different every day than who i was before, and I cannot help but embrace that. A year ago I would have never admitted to anyone that I do not read DC comics anymore. I am still the biggest bat fan… except that I am also not unaware of the serious issues with in he DC Universe. Batman, my childhood hero, beats on people like me. The different of mind. Batman uses his money, whiteness, and power to get away with what could be literal murder in many cases.

I suppose I lost my hero in my reflections, but it is also a case of not needing him to be a hero. I still drown myself in Bat things for the pleasure of it, without the hidden hook of needing a hero. I no longer want a real Batman to swoop into my personal gotham and wreak havoc for the villains. I did that for myself. I no longer need rescuing and my world is no longer so dark that the slighest thing will bump me over into no return. It is not a world without sun, except that I still never open my curtains. It just isn’t the same.

Mother’s Day is coming, and this year it is not an agony for me either. It was not last year but that was the first time. Cutting my mother out of my life made this weekend less painful. There are some slight twinges in that I am not there for my siblings but I do not think they need me to be so much so. They are adults now and able to choose to be free of Mother’s clutches. I am taking quiet time, not to reflect but simply because I do not want to hear all the cacaphony of both joyous and obligatory Mother Stuff. I feel left out that I do not get to celebrate with my mother this way.

I am a motherless child. I am a fatherless child. I am a child of the world. Raised by the village. Given strength by the village. I know in that aspect I am not left out but a conglomeration of the best of every woman I know became mother, same with every man I know becoming father in some aspects. It all is simple and direct yet I still am reflecting. Instead of taking part in the shouting from the rooftops or hiding from the idea of what Mother used to be I am going to just reflect.

I am going to reflect on the women who I know who are amazing mothers. Some are also amazing fathers. I am going to reflect on how they changed me for the better. The idea of a good parent is still one I sometimes struggle with. The concept of loving arms gently wrapped around me is no longer a terrifying nightmare because it is unheard of to my mind, it is just an option I am less familiar with. I think of all those mothers and I will reflect on the gifts of seeing them for what they are. The best mothers are guides, and I know many people who are guides.

In achieving my own omnipresent joy I can see the strands of time and people in my life and I can see that while my own parents never parented, I was saved from being so like them by countless good mothers. The strangers who could not ignore the abuse and said something. The people who clothed us, fed us, and sometimes just offered a space where the sensory depravity of the world did not drown us. My opportunities were rare, but each one was a glimmer in the night sky. Not a signal like the Bat signal I hoped for but something much more durable. Stars, twinkling into the darkness I thought an oblivion. House lights in windows showing me there was civilization beyond what I thought was the entire world.

The world is so much larger than I knew. There is so much joy to explore. There is so much joy I was given and so much I want to share.

I know that not every person who reads this will understand why someone who knew both biological parents could be orphaned at birth in the mental sense. The idea that all parents are good is their default. TO that person I say, you are more than lucky and perhaps you will be someone’s star.

So I will reflect now, in my sea and perhaps the world will only be brighter for a reflection of a light brightens it. I am the sea of stars, each one illuminating a choice, a chance, a path that lead me to being not just who I am today but a person who could survive without hate. I understand the village now, and it is in my freedoms to know that I am there, and maybe I will be someone else’s star.

Well Practiced Survival and the Art of Happiness (Potential PTSD Trigger Warning)

I hit a speed bump tonight. My brain splatted as I hit the mental pavement and I am sitting here stuck. The speed bump? Happiness. I am happy so it makes me sad. I keep thinking about why that is and I suspect it has something to do with the tenets of survival. I have well practiced fear, anger, sorrow but I have almost no experience with happiness. Happy was the fleeting moment that escaped so quickly and I held on to for years. I can name my happiest moments and its a very limited number. 1. Comic book convention last June, 2. Sprite and the first time I had a flashback and she was there, 3. Gothmas with M, 4. My first time being published.

That last one I had to struggle to pull through the mists of time and survival. I was thinking too about the domestic violence cycle and how cut off people are. I grew up without friends. Even now my friendships are limited. Some of that is the autism factor, I just struggle there but a lot of it is because I trust very few people. How can I trust you? You might be out to get me. I am working on this alone but I do not want to. I never wanted to do it all alone. I never wanted to have to figure out how to beat domestic violence by myself. It should not be about clawing my way up ever. Yet it has been.

I have been trying to find a therapist for five years. Since I escaped my exhusband. I thought I might not make it. Maybe I should settle for one of the quacks who try to lure me in with promises of touching me while praying but I do not think so. I don’t think my wanting to mock this person for being what I perceive as a predator on the vulnerable with their unproven techniques and faith healing is going to be a valuable moment in time. I still survived him alone. It was not even over then. It is just over. Does that make me now really a survivor?

Yes and No. I was a survivor all along but in a way not being afraid has opened up all of these memories and painful things. Its over so now I can process. I am thinking on things from when I was five, that I never considered before. My brain is just now allowing itself to sort through nearly thirty years of stuff. Not all of it is bad. Not all of it is abuse. Not all of it matters. Yet it is there burbling around. If I think of my friends instead of them I end up with my first day in Kindergarten at the age of four, walking in and being called weird before I said a word.

I think on the isolation that goes with abuse and I want to try new things to see if its actually my way or if it is a side effect. I grew up surviving and being too out cast and bullied for friends. Am I so alone now because I just never learned how or is it because I am afraid of my own friends? I don’t know. I do not feel fear when Ithink of each individual. I feel happy. Yet I worry.

I talked a lotof this out with a couple of my friends. I have had friends for seven years now, but it still amazes me when I can say that. One suggested a support group. I looked some time ago, I believe last year, but figured maybe I should. She went to bed and I began to google. I found many local support groups. Tons for folks with cancer, tons for things I do not understand such as video games, and yet for all of the domestic violence groups listed with the local news papers, online in google, and even with the various agencies that help you get out if you are not disabled the only groups are for the ABUSERS. Oh there was one for single parents. Not a one for women. There is one for soldiers with PTSD but I am not a soldier. There is one for everyone but me. I still wrote some down and may call but I already feel that is an intrusion. I do not fit by not having a child, by being a woman, by not being with my abuser now.

I am not at a point where I can just remedy this by going “Okay we meet here, come on ladies and lets survive more.” That is not what I can do right now. I did it before for another need. When I first was disabled I helped with creating a chronic disease support group. Then retreated from it because I was not ready. I will not make that mistake again. So I am left hanging between faith healers and the disabling abusers getting help and my own independence. It cannot just be a side effect of abuse or I would not have survived being alone but I am wondering why I am supposed to do this part by myself too.

I do not want to. I want the experience of people who do not get frightened by happiness. Or people who do but can tell me what the difference between estatic, joy and elation is. My brain cannot stop pressing on the happiness to see what is wrong with it. There is no room in my head for joy. I want to change that but I am lost out at sea without a compass or the north star. There are no maps. It is just silence and placid and gentle waves. I do not know how to be gentle. I do not know how to let go of the anger. I am still angry at my abusers but it is smaller every day. They are dead. I out lived them and can focus on doing more than just clawing through every day.

I am also very tired. I do not want to spend the rest of my life fighting alone to figure out if its okay to smile all the time. My face is sore. Its not the usual sore of the jaw dislocations Its my mouth. From smiling. I keep doing so for no reason. I keep laughing more and more. This is not just a side effect of the surviving either. This happiness started growing long before my exhusband died.  The sensations when I stop thinking or just feel are not the same. It is no longer a hard sandpaper or stabbing pain. It is not a pain at all. Nor is it really emptiness. It is soft and quiet there. The passions are still burning in me but they do not scream to be heard over my sorrow. It is simply quiet, and I have never had that either.

I never expected the thing that would make me cave in on asking for help with my PTSD and other struggles would be happiness. I suspected someday I might have a challenge bigger than I could face alone. This is not even true. It is just that I know I do not have to do it by myself and I do not want to.

I am a ship at sea, no port to call home. The current pulls me, so I go to roam. I am a ship at sea, the waves a song to me. Far from even the open road. The winds rise and my ship sails on, to new lands will I go? Tomorrow I may find land ahoy but tonight I am just adrift in the sea.

Advocacy: Lets Help Amanda Baggs

Long ago when I first started this blog I received comments from several people. It startled me. THe idea people would read this blog. Then I had to put it away and found out people didn’t quit following. So with that in mind I am writing the first advocacy post in two years. A great deal of what I learned about advocacy I learned from Amanda Baggs. She was kind enough to email with me for a short period when I had just survived my exhusband and I found comfort in her words. I was able to keep going because I did not feel alone. I didn’t feel trapped by all the things in my mind or the way I see and think anymore. Amanda is one of the most powerful advocates I have met, not in the sense others see power but in her effect that I can see.

These links are PTSD trigger alerts. Simply put, Amanda has been tortured by the hospital that should have helped her and is being bullied into a dangerous and potentially deadly situation. Here are the links and they do include how you can help. Sharing this post or these links will also help.

http://paulacdurbinwestbyautisticblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/no-anesthesia-for-disabled-woman.html

http://webmuskie.tumblr.com/ This tumblr has an entire series of documentation posts about the event. This is the first hand source of the info.

Please do what you can to help Amanda get her needs met and not be punished for the malpractice of her medical team. I am going to go curse into a corner and figure out how to make the calls around my brain tomorrow.

Update: I redid the links to the blogs, they should both be working now. I am not sure why they weren’t since the links are the exact same. If issues persist please let me know.

 

The Return of the Ghost I Was

I have haunted this blog since I stopped posting. Every day my fingers hovered over the keys but I couldn’t write without reprisals and my life being endangered. My voice was silenced. I became an echoing refrain in my own mind. I would write the words in my head and try to put away the desire. This was true of even my fiction work. I couldn’t publish anything under my name without my exhusband trying to murder me.

His stalking me is well documented in parts of this blog, even if most of those posts were hidden as I learned safety. I have had immense support from you, and I know some of you I couldn’t contact worried. Well, Textual Fury is back because my exhusband is dead. I do have mixed feelings but I am finding that the sad ones are for me. No one who knew thought to contact me and go “Yeah he is dead.” Which I can understand. That would require them to not be enabling his abuse, it would require them to not blame me. He blamed me, and on his last attempt on my life made it perfectly clear that I had to die so he could commit suicide.

I am obviously not dead.

In the last while I tried to blog under new names, I tried to push through. It didn’t work. I was a mute not just by choice but out of an instinct for self preservation. I have approved all pending comments, including his threatening one that wasn’t deleted. Its there for posterity. A permanent (as permanent as anything is on the internet) reminder of my survival. He died. I lived. I never expected to out last him. His body was healthy. Mine? Its MY body, with its well documented fragility, constant illness and general shorter than average life expectancy.

I no longer have to haunt my litany spot. I can simply write. Hello again, old friends.

 

Some of my adventures in the last while? Two car accidents, internal bleeding not yet resolved but not necessarily life threatening (its been around for a while now, and I actually feel pretty good despite that), Sprite needed surgery and nearly died on me from a mega abscess, I started collating my poems into a book, my art will be a part of an exhibition in Australia, The Dark Knight Rises was pretty danged awesome, my monster high collection is great and brings me joy, and my shy cat Sylvani is mostly a normal cat who jumps like popped corn. I even have a great carer. Not a good one, not a failgiver. A GREAT caregiver.

In short even before I knew he was dead my life had reached a critical point of happiness which I had once imagined as a child. My life is nothing like the actual imagined life, but I think it is far better. Sure it would be great to have my own pony and dogsled team (yes both on one sled) but I sit in my humble home with what feels like the world at my feet. I do not promise regular blogs but the turmoil of the world effects me. There is so much in this world that needs to be observed. So much to be experienced and I cannot NOT write.

Christmas Murder: A Family Tradition (Trigger Warning)

I wanted to write something cheery, about how good I am doing. I really am doing well. I am going to a friend’s for Christmas, and while i am not religious and they are, they respect this and its about communing and being together, unlike most of the other invites I have had. The things to give people and kitties is in a stack taller than my tree, with some bits on the couch since I just ran out of room. I am still fighting the endless battle of finding a caregiver agency that doesn’t remove the caregivers I get along with, because we get along but I am not grasping by a single thread and falling down a cavern of despair and fear. I am still okay.

I wanted to write about the Iraq war being over, and how apathetic I feel about this and the whys. The too little too lateness, the fact that just because we decided oh hey we’re done doesn’t negate the consequences, the disabled veterans who are now going to be struggling. I wanted to. I only have one article’s worth of energy tonight, and the others may happen later but this article demands my attention. You see I just had a serious flash back because I was skimming the news and I ran into my first murdered child holiday story this year. I had managed to dance around them for a lot longer than normal.

I am not certain if the effect on me was so much stronger than normal because I am doing well and my brain could focus, because the snow outside in the second obnoxiously white blizzard has me aching and everything already felt a bit raw, or if it is because I got a package from my mother today and it contained not only presents that she clearly put thought into and that I liked but some Xrays of my neck when it was broken the one time this hit as an adult. Not snapped but cracks in the bones show up. In my gift box. That this is the only abjectly weird thing in there actually impresses me, but with Grandma changing her number to get around the call block, texting daily despite my lack of reply (even telling her to stop fails), or any other confluence of events this link which comes with a serious PTSD warning made my brain go off into the dark spaces.

My mind whirled through every holiday where I expected to die. That means twenty five years of expecting to die. My wedding, with my sister and her lovely poison muffins which were so very nasty no one even pretended interest, every beating, each time my mother just went to bed, each time I was afraid because I just wasn’t ever good enough for these MONSTERS. My family. My serial killer father. My molester older brother who still whines about how I didn’t let him abuse me. My older sister who decided that its my fault she threatened my life, technically kidnapped me and crashed the car. These WONDERFUL (that is sarcasm) people? Each time they threatened me was right there.

The time my father murdered me for Thanksgiving was right there. The reasons I began to question religion. Right there. In the name of holiday statistics, people die. The part that really hit me was, this will be amplified in a year because of all of the people too blatantly stupid to use their critical thinking skills. The world really does end 12-21-2012 because of all of the people who will murder in the name of apocalypse. We see this with every cult, every Harold Camping, and every other failed prediction. Every single one has huge points of logic, like the Mayan calendars not being prophetic, but people still buy in to this garbage. Same as with their gods. There are reasons to question faith always and by refusing to do so, they demean their religious choices.

I am totally okay with people believing in whatever, so long as it isn’t just because they were told this is their option and never considered asking why. I am okay with people believing in the end of the world as long as its not an excuse for murder. Someday the sun is going to explode and incinerate people. In a billion more years. This is a scientific fact. So someday there will be an apocalypse. In that eventuality we can always hope that there will be a single child launched in a space ship to a distant habitable planet with a yellow sun, and he shall rise up to become Superman. Until then, every year, ever holiday, and every fauxpocalypse people get murdered because someone just needed an excuse.

I do not believe in crimes of passion. I do believe in self defense. If someone dies because they tried to hurt me, that’s cool. Means a threat is eliminated. It means that I will also be horrified to feel blood on my hands again. I will question everything in my life. I will cry. I will scream. I will thrash against it. I will also have survived. Too often in these Holiday Murder stories there is a component of pity offered for the murderer. Just as there is in any murder of the disabled or elderly. It is as if by putting Christmas lights on the murderer they become somehow pitiable more so this time of year. That woman murdered her child and her father. There does not need to be a why. She killed herself. Obviously there was some sort of problem. Its not okay to use that problem as an excuse for why she murdered the child.

It isn’t okay either for people to presume that the Autistic person at their holiday gathering who is withdrawing out of a desperate need to escape sensory overload just needs to stop ruining the holiday gathering, because of course a melt down is so much FUN for us Autists. We really want to be in so much agony that all we can do is scream and cry. Every autistic person who melts down, I fear will die. I fear it.

I see the traditional tree, the gleaming ornaments, and I feel fear. The gothmas tree being black and decked out with my own brand of decoration isn’t just because Black Trees are prettiest to me, and silvery black ornaments look cool on them. It is because I wanted decorations that didn’t leave me with vague sensations of fear. So I modified my tree to suit my needs. The need to not wonder in the slightly stuck in PTSD mode by the omnipresent holiday if mommy or daddy is going to love me this year. If I am the only one who hears rape in the song “Baby it’s cold outside”, if I am so evil because I think hitting is bad. I regress I suppose to the small child who was hungry, desperate, my entire childhood was one big act of desperation, and wondering if I am expendable enough and which of the adults in my life, and as I got older my siblings, was going to be the one to kill me.

My mother was the only one who never said “I will kill you” with words. She still said it with her actions. Choosing my step father over me. She loved him more than me, and warehousing me was more convenient than murder. I got lucky. If they’d thought about it and figured out that at that point no one would’ve even noticed if I was missing, I think I would be dead. My mother may not have had the stomach for it but the rapist she married surely did.

In this moment I recognize why I have eschewed the holidays even with friends for the most part. The family traditions my family has end badly. They end in bloodshed, violence and tears. I cannot stop crying as I write this because I know each keystroke is another child somewhere in this world who is living as I did, or dying as I thought I would. My choice to believe in Santa was a conscious one. I always knew he was fictional but I wanted to believe in the goodness that he represented. I wanted to believe that there was someone somewhere who brought pleasant things. I wanted to not spend my holidays afraid for my life, or any other day. That is what the holidays are to so many people, and myself.

The holidays mean family and togetherness. Family and togetherness mean being tied up in a closet, lying awake at night waiting for one of the adults to get mad and demand the ritual beating. I mean literally the ritualized holiday beating. You knew it would come, the question was not a matter of that but if you would survive. Then you had to endure pretending nothing was wrong while making offerings to the parents, and hoping they were good enough. In my case there were offerings to the people around me for a lot longer. This is why I only buy Christmas gifts for people I want to. There is no obligation now, to survival by having managed a nice enough present. I reclaimed gift giving into something of joy.

Yet I cannot reclaim that little girl, who suffered. I cannot give her grandfather back his last moments and make them pain free, horror free. I cannot give voice to every child who is being abused in some way right now. The amount of violence and hatred that spirals up during the holidays, isn’t because of alcohol. That is an excuse that enables domestic and other forms of violence. It is because we all take time off to be together. This means the victims have no out of the house refuge from their abusers, and a smart abuser uses this to their advantage.

There is no excuse for the Family Traditions I have. There is no excuse at all. I look over to my Gothmas lanterns, my tree, and it still makes me happy, its a creative outlet after all. Nonstandard tree means a lot of customization. I look back in time and remember praying I wouldn’t drop the ornaments as we pretended to be a happy family, praying I didn’t bunch them wrong, praying I did the tinsel right. Praying that this year, God wouldn’t tell my father that I was evil. Praying that this year my mother would let me come home and that I would feel like I belonged. Praying that when people showed up to visit, or claimed to, they either would show up and if they did would not act in a way that hurt me. Praying.

I only miss prayer when I have no power to at least reach out to someone and gift them with my understanding, with the knowledge they are not alone in their suffering.

With the article I linked, I cannot overlook the clear premeditation. The gun she obtained without record of obtaining it. The sending her husband away. Did she just love him more or was it less? It was one or the other. The fact she chose the basement, which would’ve muffled the sounds.

This is the holiday season. Readers, if you are feeling depressed, please remember you can always write me. I may not write back immediately but I will try to. you don’t have to be alone. YOu can also find your local crisis line, and anonymously vent.

If you are an autist, advocate for your need for quiet. Even if it means locking yourself in the bathroom for an hour, take the time you NEED to get away from the overload.

If you are alone, volunteer at a homeless shelter. Go help the people who have less than you do, because you can.

If none of that applies, or if all of it does, make a new holiday tradition this year. Do something to either reclaim your holiday from similar circumstance or to share love and joy in new ways. WHile the holidays are arbitrary the need for human companionship, comfort, and to celebrate is not. These are important things and should be done without violence or fear.

You aren’t alone, I am with you and you are with me by the simple act of living. We are alive, and that means you are my new family. Happy Holidays if you celebrate them, and if not, stay warm this winter, enjoy the light displays with their pagan roots and remember the primal need for companionship winter brings out is normal.

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