The Right to Remain Silent (Trigger Warning)

I have so much going on that I have been silent, because writing hurts. Typing sends sheets of agony down my spine.  My belly is swollen and lopsided and no one knows why. I might have a brain tumor or a billion other things making my testosterone levels skyrocket. (Meaning if you think testosterone makes you a man I am more man than you, if you are indeed a dude.) I have been fighting for access to the same care a non disabled woman would have gynecologically, while being torn for a pap by the speculum because the doctor decided that I did not have the right to a less painful exam. THAT has never happened to me before medical fragility or not.I have been struggling. I have also seen every day in the news a murder, maiming, medically questionable treatment usually reserved for animals., continued institution and many other horrible things being done to autistics.  This is true of other disabilities but not to the degree that autistic children and adults have been deprived of the empathy that their victimization should have.  Here is where I should link you to a few brilliant pieces I read but I cannot handle the triggers to read the truths again.

Two nights ago before bed, due to a technical glitch I had a talk with another autistic advocate and we both acknowledged that as children we were taught to be compliant, pliable and to NEVER say no. We were taught that certain abuses, things taught to even children with good parents who are taking the advice that is being given in the form of ABA and other wretched training methods that use violence and pain as therapy, have been used to silence us. Every autistic advocate I know has PTSD from treatment, abuse, and some of that abuse was preventable if they had known that NO was an option. I am not always the most vocal advocate, especially when things are as bad as they are medically, I focus more on staying alive since that is very helpful with the whole fighting for your rights thing. So I am always relieved when I know that other advocates ARE out there. They are persistent, present and even if one of us takes a small step back for our own needs others are there to help with the event horizon of advocacy. Autistics are not seen by most people as people. We are not seen to have pain, rights, or needs. We are seen as a burden, an imposition and a chore.

This shouting anthem should be read with as much loud punk music as your brain can conjure.  It is as close to stating how I feel about all of this as I can manage. My words skim the surface like a waterbug. I want to scream. I want people to HEAR it. To feel it. Take the punch in the gut, take the flag, rise up and listen. No one knows more about autism than we, the autistics. Not the parents of autistics, even the ones who DO listen to us. No one can speak for me. No one. Now if people just listened when I do speak we’d be golden.

The Right To Remain Silent

You have the right to remain silent
That is what they say to the criminals anyway
but being born with an autistic brain
doesn’t make you a bad person
Not unless you maybe rob a bank.
So I am writing this out in the hopes
That you will hear the song behind the words
Flap your hands, look away from their eyes
Defy their toxic works.

You have the right to shout
You have the right to rock
you have the right to sing
you have the right to be
You have the right to no
You have the right to live
You have the right to no
You have the right to remain…

Don’t take their word for what you are
You have value even if they can’t see
Our words are taken through violence every day
but being born autistic doesn’t mean it has to be that way
Trained from birth to take abuse
We are people
Gonna rise and shout
Scream it
Say it
flap it
rock it
paint it
feel it
breath it
SHOUT IT OUT

All the people we see and hear
don’t seem to think we should speak and say
I am not a doll
I am not a toy
I am not a dog
I am a human
I am a human

Raised to say anything but what I really feel
Taught that my words cannot be valued
Do they rape me?
Do they break me?
Do they beat me?
It’s just therapy
Do they drug me?
Make it hard to think?
Make me want to scream?
Do they cause me pain?
It’s just therapy
Silent hands
quiet hands
eye contact
scrubbed skin
Get used to it
Cause it’s just therapy
Don’t say no
Don’t say pain
Don’t say truth
It scares them
Less than them
That’s a lie
Its the lie
Fed to us

So shout it out
tell the truth
Since when does the abuser get to say
What is right
For their victims
We’re the survivors and we’re going to stand to say

I am not a doll
I am not a toy
I am not a dog
I am human
Where’s my equal rights?
Fuck the ADA
I’ll take the social equality the hard way.
I may not stand
I may not speak
I may just breath
I may sing out
I may write out
I may say it too
I have the right to expression
I have the right to truth
I have the right to bodily autonomy
I have the right to … everything you do.

The first chorus has risen, the second chorus too
Remember that you don’t have to be silent
They threaten to cage us
They threaten to maim us
Sometimes that is where our lives begin

I am not a doll
I am not a toy
I am not a subhuman
I am not a monster
I am not a freak
I am probably a geek
I decide my identity

Say No
Scream NO
Live NO
Fight
Fight
FIght
Advocacy
Freedom
Equal rights

You have the right to not remain silent
You have the right to bodily autonomy
You have the right to medical care without fear of being

silenced.
You have the rights everyone else does
We are people
We have thoughts
We have feelings
Fuck you’re empathy excuses for infringing on our CIVIL

RIGHTS

Don’t tell me to be silent
That isn’t very civil
Don’t tell me to keep my hands still
That is an act of aggression
Don’t tell me my anger is invalid because it isn’t yours.
Who fails to see
The human in me?
You are the nightmare monster underneath the bed
The shadows in the closets in every autistic child’s fears
You are the screams without answer when we have no words
You are abuser. You are wrong.

So listen, hear this. Read it. See it. Tactile paintings were

just not enough. I am going to keep shouting because it is ME

who I love. Selfish? fuck yes! Survival! I did it.

Say No
Scream No
Shout No
Live No
Fight
Fight
Fight
Advocacy
Freedom
Equal Rights
This is LIFE

 

The Cliche of Anger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Personal Space

Before I set into writing the latest post, which proves of all things I am still alive and kicking I have a few updates. First, the biopsy came back, and I do not have cancer. Second, I just painted seven paintings in five days. My hands are sore. Why would I paint seven paintings in a week? One was for fun, six were for a contest. I really want to win, but, only time will tell if I actually do. I am certain a few of you will want to see these pictures. The contest was run by Overground EIC, and as I cannot draw yet, I used their line art. The seventh picture was drawn by a local comic book artist named Paul Ziomek. He’s a really nice guy too. So, here is a link to my gallery on DeviantArt and just in case you want to support artists who are local (to me) here is a link to 7000BC, a local comic book group. They have some really cool stories.

I am actually hoping to start a weekly web comic with someone, so if you know any artists who want to audition, let me know. I will be hosting a contest soon. I already have a few scripts, and it doesn’t take too much time for me to write. In fact, I might even update the blog more often if I do that.

Now, here is the actual blog post for today:

Personal Space:

The issue of Personal Space comes up frequently when we are children. We are taught boundaries, we are taught that we cannot just touch strangers. I was taught this at least, and reminded often that my own space was worthless, but I had best not encroach on anyone else’s territory.

As an adult this was the norm until I started using assistive devices. It was then that I learned another facet of ableism included touching these devices, leaning on them, and even hitting them. Would you ever touch a person’s purse? The answer is usually not without permission. Why is it alright then, for people to smack my chair, try and take the key, or even tell me just how cute it is that I use a wheelchair?

You are probably confused by their actions as much as I am, and you also probably experience versions of this as well. I am not sure why it has become the norm for people to tell me that my wheelchair is cute. I understand the perspective of another person who is shopping for a chair deciding mine is really cool and asking me questions, that is perfectly reasonable, and is something I have done myself. I understand a child needing to ask me what I am driving a miniature care for. I do not understand walking up to someone and smacking the top of their chair and telling them how cute it is that they have a sunshade on their wheelchair.

This happened at a Walgreen’s that is just a block away from my house. My Person and I were there, getting some snacks and were going to rent movies after. I was in glee as I had found lotion I could use with minimal reaction, my arms stayed red for only an hour and eyeliner that I was not allergic to, could use properly, and is hard to obtain. This Walgreen’s carries authentic Egyptian Kohl. I am so excited by this that I actually spent all of my extra money on make up. We were about to check out when the Cashier gushed at me, “Oh how cute your chair is.” I looked at her and told her, “Excuse me?” She repeated it. Then, another employee smacks my sunshade and tells me it’s cool. I decided then and there to put a stop to this.

“Do you really think it’d be alright to smack someone’s cane? Do you think I would go around telling you that your crutches are cute if you broke your leg or your cast is cute? Don’t patronize me, don’t touch me or my assistive devices. I happen to think it’s a shame I no longer get to walk through your store. I happen to think it’s a shame you think that acting like an idiot is going to make me want to shop here. If you touch my chair again I will report you to the management, and if you,” Gesturing to the other person, “Speak to me like a child again, I will also report you to the management. This is not how you treat a customer, or any other human. I am sure you think less of me for saying this, but I think much less of you for behaving in an inappropriate manner.” The woman looked as if she would cry, and the young man who had thwapped my chair had backed up considerably. It took a lot of will power to not curse at them. I wanted to. Instead the woman said, “But it really is cute.”

My person knows I dislike advocating. I don’t know anyone who really enjoys it or wants to spend all their time arguing with people about their own right to exist, but, he has accepted that I will and must. He also has accepted that at times, he must as well. He spoke up then, “Don’t patronize her. Trust me, you don’t want to continue down this path. It’s not a threat, it’s just a warning from a fellow Walgreens Employee, that she knows her rights, and you are infringing on them.” He used to work for Walgreen’s, and as a result I know that the staff are taught to be courteous. I am certain that these two people have never really had to interact with a disabled person.

I am not proud of having to put them in their place or making sure that they feel a little bit less than but, I am still reeling with confusion at their actions. It has been almost a week but I cannot figure it out. This isn’t the first time people have told me just how adorable it is that I can shop, or function in society. Each time I have explained, to the best of my ability and as calmly as I can. I have also learned that it is alright to show anger. Any ‘normal’ or ‘regular’ or able bodied person would be angry if I told them how cute their flaws were, or how cute it was that they were absolutely stupid. I am learning that I have the right to anger.

I will go back to this Walgreen’s. It is a very nice store, and they actually measure their aisle displays for accessibility. I caught them in the act, the manager was correcting an employee on the placement of a standee that held some make up, “You can’t put this here. People will be unable to pass.” The employee walked around it, “I can get past it just fine.” The manager then said, “What about people who can’t walk or use a walker? How about this, if you don’t move it, using this measuring tape for a 28 inch radius, you lose your job. I don’t want anyone to sue me over the ADA or anything like that.” He added something else too, “Oh and what about customer service? It’s gotta be a pain in the (censored) to have to ask for help to reach a bottle of lotion.”

I hadn’t had to advocate to them, but I was watching. I was paying attention. I know that the management at this Walgreens cares. If when I return this patronization happens again, I will bring them into it. I will also offer to train their employees. The only reason I did not have to fight them more was that I had left Sprite the Service Cat at home. She wasn’t feeling well and I wanted to go out.

It was still a lovely afternoon, but, it left me chewing over the concequences of their actions and my reactions. I am proud to state that I did not punch the man who touched my chair. I almost did, but I managed to catch my impulse in time, and used my words instead. I have been having a lot of trigger issues with men and my chair lately. They come up behind me and I want to run them down to make them go away. I haven’t given in yet, but, when the strange males who trigger me then touch my chair, all bets are off!

I haven’t much else to say on this matter, beyond, advocate for your personal space. I didn’t at first. When I used the walker and my abusive roommates would pile heavy objects on it so that they didn’t have to carry them, or when they kept dumping things into my chair so I couldn’t use it when it was brand new, I at first kept my mouth shut. I was so used to staying silent so that they wouldn’t punish me or decide to expose me to even more allergens. At first I let people do things like this out of the house too, because I was afraid. I feel less fear when I advocate. I also worry at times that I am being too sharp, too harsh. There have to be times when I am the gentle advocate, and there are. I worry over it even when I am putting in extra effort to not hurt people’s feelings despite their refusal to let me have my basic human rights. It sounds preposterous when I say it or write it, but it feels right to try for extra kindness.

I am also learning that my Autism may factor into my need to not be touched. I have always been extremely sensitive to touch and texture. I like to control what things feel like around me. I once could not adopt a very adorable and well behaved puppy because his fur felt too stiff. I found him a good home but, I couldn’t cope with the texture. Sometimes texture can even cause nightmares. This adds to my unwillingness to let strangers touch me. I don’t hug people often. I do make sure to touch my Person, but sometimes it takes massive amounts of effort. He is understanding when it comes to my reticence, but I also want to make sure he has nothing that he wants or needs for.

What about you? When you advocate does it help your anxiety level or make it worse? Do people infringe on your personal space? This goes for those with sight issues or hearing issues, do people at times touch you just to try and make you function the way they want? What are your reactions? If you are an Autistic, do you also have touch issues? What forms of contact ableism are you familiar with?

Blogging Against Disablism

I have restarted this post twice now. Part of it is my pain clouding my mind and a resistance to taking my pain meds. I have not shaken the habit of taking them only when I cannot stand the pain. This has left me fighting off a meanness that the pain brings up. I don’t even feel it at first, but, then I realize I am harboring a great deal of anger. Once I accept that I can take my pain and that it is alright to take the little pill that lets me do more than just deal with it, I can resume living.

I see this as my truest handicap. I am at risk of pushing people away because I fear being addicted to a drug. I am dependant on the morphine, but not addicted. The dependency is my need to actually have a life. I am starting a business, I am following my dreams which I had presumed dead and lost to me for years. I am also using my handicap to my advantage.

I listened to a speaker last night who came to the United States from China. She has not shed her accent, nor should she. In her speech she explained the prejudices she faces as a result of sounding foreign in the united states. This racism that she deals with overlaps ableism. People look at a disabled woman and see her as stupid, inferior. People hear her and presume she is stupid, inferior. They presume that neither set of people has the capability to do brilliant things. We are raised with this belief system. We are told even if not directly by our parents, by the world we live in which segregates the special children, or forces students to take English as a Second Language courses regardless of need based not on their actual language but on their race.

My most recent example of a person using my disability as an excuse to other me comes from the grocery store. I went in with my Person to pick up some items for a road trip, with a client. I must protect myself from allergens and that was the solution. Sprite was riding behind me, tucked under the sunshade, and hiding behind my body. A woman came up, I am leaving out a description of her because when I write it, I other her. That is not acceptable either. She tried to pet Sprite. I didn’t bother explaining anything to her, I said in a very soft voice, meant to be calm, “Please go away.” She exploded. “HOW DARE YOU!” She got in my face, and I dropped the softness, but stayed polite. “Please go away,” She snarled, “You aren’t doing anything and you shouldn’t have a pet in the store.” I replied. “Please go away. I am doing my shopping and I am not here to befriend you, talk about your pets, nor am I breaking any laws. I do not wish to discuss this matter with you and have been polite thus far, despite your yelling and harassment.” I then floored it, my chair whipping around the corner and continued my shopping. Ten minutes later I hear the sound of my Person being pushed. His grunt of pain reaches me just before this woman is in my face again, “YOU DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE RUDE TO ME!” That was when I stopped playing nice. I let myself snarl right back, though I did not yell, “Really? Assaulting someone who is not involved in our discussion is rude, trying to invade my space is rude, yelling at me is rude, and showing your own inability to grasp the rights of others is beyond rude. Get out of my way, I don’t really care what you want out of me I am not here for your enjoyment. If you bother me again I will call security.” She flounced away, and I finished my shopping.

As we left, the store manager who had the law explained to her as we entered was discussing the incident with this shopper. She had gone to the manager to have me thrown out. Instead she was told this, “I am sorry ma’am but you have no right to touch her, her wheelchair, or her service animal. The law protects her rights to shop here in saftey, as it does yours.” The woman replied , “She’s just a cripple, she doesn’t have any rights.” The manager was openly angry at this, which surprised me since she’d been a bit of a hard case about it all before. I left then, to the sound of, “She has just as many rights as you do, and if you continue to behave in this manner I will have to have you removed from my store.” The woman then threw herself on the ground and had a tantrum like a toddler.

I learned something from this, that was the point of sharing it. I learned that every person I edcuate becomes an asset. I did not feel this woman could be educated, nor did I feel prepred to try and spoon feed her the information. The burden of fuctioning with a disability is fighting for my rights. I use my disability as a tool to be under estimated. The woman underestimated the ability of not just myself but of others to actually see the humanity with in my body. She under estimated the ability of people to actually listen. I do at times too.

The secret to blogging against disablism? Is to do it whenever you write. The secret to teaching aout disablism? Is to live.

I know this post isn’t as wonderful as I wanted, I am still distracted and out of it. I am not feeling myself. I hope it does encapsulate an idea. By living and not giving up our dreams we fight ableism/disablism. By having lives we fight against disablism. I am partly distracted byt a disappointment with Obama and his failure to sign the Community Choice Act. I am disappointed with his inability to see the human rights that lie at the end of his pen. There is still time, but, his administration has openly stated that there is no reason for him to actually make the changes that free people from being forced into Nursing homes.

Beyond blogging against disablism, I call you to act. Go out into the world, be seen. Educate via your existence.

To read more about Blogging Against Disablism Day, please follow this link.

I live!

I hope you all can forgive my silence. Here is a quick rundown of why my blogging may become a bit more sporadic. I will try to not be so lack luster in my posting, and I have stories to tell!

1. I am starting a public speaking business. I will try to travel and blog, though until I get a laptop that might not happen. I will try to use the scheduler on WordPress, if I can figure out how to make it actually post.

2. As an ordained interfaith minister at times I perform weddings. I like to assist with the planning, networking resources, and it is another time consuming affair, also at times with travel involved. I am currently in the process of helping plan a huge wedding with in three months.

3. I might have cancer. This year I am getting a double cancer scare. I have posted before about the annual cancer scare. This time my doctors think I have both skin cancer and uterine cancer. I don’t think I have either but we are doing biopsies (which left me incapacitated for three days) and tests just to be safe.

4. I am trying to keep my commitments as well. I am helping to start a new Toastmasters Club at both the local University and one at the other end of town. I am also going to be active in my regular two clubs.

This is all between writing my novel, on the blog, working on my art and I will also be crafting things to sell at craft shows and as special commissions. A lot of this occurs around wedding time. (Feel free to book me as a minister, I can legally marry you in most states and as an interfaith minister am able to work with many faiths. I also perform commitment ceremonies for those who cannot legally marry their life partners in most of the US at this time.)

I will continue my activism as well. It never ends, and although I am tired when writing this, I still need to wash my face to remove the eyeliner Day of Silence writing from the protest, I am exhausted but content. I will try to write tomorrow, and due to the incliment weather might just have more time.

It is spring and SNOWING!

I am Angry

I became aware of my anger today. I wasn’t aware how angry I was until trying to explain my back injury. I often tell myself I am not angry and try to behave with altruism in mind. I am pissed. Right now I could cuss! I have felt tension in my neck lately but, there are so many reasons to be tense I couldn’t figure out the why.

I am angry that people take disability as a sign of dramatics. I am not overly dramatic when I do not want to go grocery shopping. I do not want to face people. I do not want to treat something else that is medically wrong with me the doctors way, and choose to abide myself. This doesn’t make me overly dramatic. I have reasons for each thing, and none of them are dramatic.

None of my disabilities are in my head. As a young disabled woman, I am often told to get up and walk. My wheelchair is used as an excuse to shame me. It fails, but, I am angry. I am tired of explaining why I am in a wheelchair. Why is it not acceptable to ask someone, “Why aren’t you in a wheelchair?” Why is it that being seen as abnormal means people perceive weakness?

I am not weak. There is no weakness left with in me today. I might be weak tomorrow but right now I am feeling the roots of the earth. I am feeling ancient and mighty. There is a cost at this anger, but being aware of it means I can try and let it go.

I am specifically angry at the word Vanity today. Why is it vain to want to prepare for the risk of my hair not coming back with scar tissue? Any other person I know of seeking out ideas, pricing wigs, and other ways to hide scars would be assisted. When I ask the question the shop keepers look at me, look at the chair and ask why I bother. This is not right.

I want every bit of perceivable normalcy that I can obtain. I do not want people to see a big scar on my head, then my face. I want them to see my face. It is hard enough knowing that they first see my wheelchair, then my service animal, then my breasts, then my face. It takes so much more for a person with a disability to be seen as a person at all.

Why does it take extra brilliance to be an equal? Why does it take harder work to make ends meet? I am angry about this. My rage burns slow and deep. I am trying to change things but my fear is that I will fail. I am starting a professional public speaking business, and I am hearing the voice in my head whispering, “You will fail.”

I might. I don’t think I will. I know I will face discrimination, I will have to enforce the ADA wherever I go. I fear though, that I will be paid less because of the chair. I fear that people will not want to hear me speak because what good can a chubby chick in a wheelchair do for them? I have to push these aside and feel my anger, so that I can push on.

I am angry too as I realize that bullying doesn’t end with childhood. I am disappointed as that delusion fades upon the minor scruitiny. I will write about that soon. Adult bullies are just as bad as the children they raise. They are the ones who teach children cruelty. I run into them often.

I am proud to say that my lack of weakness shows more often than anything else. I am a very strong and talented woman but, what about those who have not had the chance to flourish? Yes, I fought tooth and nail for every bit of normal I can project, for every success. Not everyone is strong enough and most children with disabilities need more care than I recieved. How much stronger would I be if I had been cared for? I think I would be a million times stronger.

I am a butterfly with broken wings that has flown again. I just want to fly without it hurting. I want a moment of peace. I want to have one day where I do not have to prepare myself for the onslaught of the world’s prejudice. One day of peace. There is no such day. It might happen for some but as a person who cannot hide their disability, as a person who has a disability at all, as a woman, as a bisexual person, as an autistic, as a person of any minority knows… that day of peace is one that you fight for and taking it can cost you everything.

I am so angry, but I will not let my anger interrupt my path. I will not let it mask my fear. I will instead use it as passion to continue fighting discrimination. I will continue fighting for my freedom. I will continue fighting for your freedom. Everyday more people become disabled. Everyday more people find their rights are a myth. Everyday people die as a result of discrimination. Everyday in the United States, where I live, people die of starvation, people become homeless.

I am so angry. The anger comes from an emotional pain that leaves my heart throbbing and me in tears. This pain is for those who suffer. Part of it is physical pain too. My back aches, my muscles spasm, my ears ring so loudly I can barely hear anything over the din, my fingers hurt and dislocate, and I grow angrier because I don’t know why I feel like this. I shouldn’t lose a day to snow. I shouldn’t fear going outside, because each time I do my saftey is threatened by ignorant fools.

The cost of living with a disability is so high. I am tired of paying it. I am tired of feeling the terror of actually working. It makes me angry to feel fear like this. What if I do not earn enough to pay for my medication? What if I lose my SSI and become homeless? Will my Person and Caregiver both lose their incomes if I work? It effects them too.

I am tired of being angry. I am tired of worrying about appearance, yearning for enough money, proper clothing, and the ability to do what I want when I want not when someone else’s whim allows. I am far from alone in this anger too. Most people feel a form of it.

I thirst for the waters of freedom. I gasp for the air of life. I reach for it, but it is just out of reach. I feel the wind beneath my grasp and know it brings another storm I must weather. This is living. This is a life I did not dream of or foresee. I was unprepared yesterday. I was unprepared today. Tomorrow I will be prepared.

Treatment and the Day of Silence

I am not talking about medical treatment today. I am talking about the treatment that humans offer one another. This is the main reason I do not allow myself to cuss. I want to stop myself from hurting someone without thinking, and that is the most common use for curse words.

I have written a bit about my bullying experiences before, but today I want to talk with you about the Day of Silence and why I am taking part. I keep trying to fit all of this information on a double sided business card. I am preparing, my white board is ready, I am considering which form of tape to put over my lips. I am taping them closed on Friday, so that I do not accidentally babble. It happens. I think I am quiet and I have been talking for an hour about nonsense.

The Day of Silence, in my eyes, is an opportunity to educate those who have various privileges on the oppression that they do not see. I am an advocate for so many and I am advocating with my silence for any without a voice. The main focus is GBLT relations, but, I am adding to my silence the silence of those with a disability that takes their voice, those who are not heard when they speak out about abuse, and those who are not seen. I am taking part in the day of silence, and I call for you to do the same.

We who can speak out, especially with grace and eloquence, have a duty to protect those who have no voice. The world exists today where people who are marginalized are still being punished. A young man hung himself due to bullying. I do not use the word excessive before bullying as many do, because any bullying is excessive. If you excuse smaller amounts of bullying with that one word, you excuse it all.

If you read most of the blogs in my Blogroll, then you are most likely already aware of the Day of Silence. You are likely aware of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoove hanging himself at the age of 11. You might have seen his picture. If not. look into the face of battered innocence.

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoove age 11. He is wearing a football uniform, holding a helmet and smiling.

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoove age 11. He is wearing a football uniform, holding a helmet and smiling.

The antibullying action taken to protect this child was to force him to eat lunch with his abuser. That is as effective as the silence I faced when I was Burned at the Stake. His family is supporting the Day of Silence, as he was going to turn 12 this Friday. The Day of Silence is April 17th.

I look back at my life and see how close I came to suicide as well. I wanted to die so often, but I wasn’t able to make myself or someone stopped me. No one considered the ramifications for this boy. His death is criminal. Suicide? In a way it is murder. Every child who ridiculed him is guilty. They may be children but I honestly hope that they feel the guilt, that it eats at them enough to prevent the next act of bullying. I doubt it. The excuse that Children Are Cruel is not acceptable. No, children are not cruel. They are innocent. They are taught cruelty by the adults in their lives.

We are responsible. If you would not ordinarily take part in a protest, consider it as a way to honor every child who has been bullied because of skin color, hair color, eye color, behavioral difference, able bodied differences, or even for a difference that cannot be listed here. If you were bullied. Take part. If you bullied someone when you were a child. Take part.

This is a call to action. After I get my business cards ready, I will post the file here so you can download and print the minifliers. You can also find information on the day of silence website, they have resources and tools.

This is a way to advocate for yourself, for your children, for the children of the future, and for who you used to be. Stand up, stay silence, and be proud of it. If you are against the human rights of others, you probably aren’t reading this blog.

The Day of Silence Website: http://www.dayofsilence.org/

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