A call for writers and some moments of Cats and Awesome

I feel like a character in a musical this morning, my mood is so good. I was actually cranky for the last few days and couldn’t figure out why. I finally had alone time (something I miss with caregivers, alone time to me means days of solitude) but I just hurt and hurt. Sprite and her magic paws of awesomeness found the source of the epic pain. That isn’t the source of my good mood however.

Here is a science fiction writing contest with a theme on disability, the rules stipulate the disabled character cannot be disabled to mark their evil. This is the main reason that I have not read any sci fi in the last year, as I have grown tired of the same tropes, it wounds me. I’ve instead begun to write scripts and dramas that focus on this very thing. I am going to enter (will start that story once I finish my show pitch and between composing for the composition gig). If you are a writer, want to try your hand at it, or know someone who may be interested pass it along. This entire paragraph is a link that is screaming CLICK ME.

Ria, an ally and a friend on Facebook also shared this link with me today. It’s a call for papers about the same topic, disability and literature. I think addressing the treatment of those of us with disabilities in writing is a huge step towards being enabled by our communities. Not tolerated, not accepted, not just respected but enabled and embraced. So this paragraph is also a link that is screaming CLICK ME.

I know that on the competitive side of things some of you may be wondering why I would want competition but, I am the sort of person that likes it. I want to go against the best so that when I win there is no doubt in my mind that victory was deserving and if I lose then I can just try again and again. Sometimes of course I am disheartened but, I feel already a winner with this literary contest. Not because I will win, but because I feel my humanity is being embraced, my flag flown high, I feel enabled. I am enabled to find something to read that doesn’t have me rolling my eyes at the helplessness, evilness, or apparent horror that is NOT actually inherent with disability.

Now on to the crankiness. It’s another Sprite Tale. I have lived with her for five or six years now, can’t peg it today which is fine with me. Each day she amazes me with her intuitive nature. Florence Nightengale wishes she had my cat for her nursing aide. From the waist down for the last few days my pain level has been slowly increasing. I couldn’t peg it and was going to call the doctor this morning although I just saw her. This started the day after my last appointment.

The ache in my knees was bigger than anything the arthritis causes, and since it was rainy I was certain that was the culprit. I did my normal rub downs to check for dislocations and there wasn’t any sign of one. Everything felt normal if a bit squishy. I chalked it up to a few days of a flair up and tried to go with it. Yesterday the pain got worse, and worse, and worse. By the time it was 11 pm I had to throw in the towel and went to try and sleep. As I laid down Sprite did her evening body check.

She started with my head and worked her way down tucking my blanket in around me. This limits how much I can move without waking up, but since I have to wake up anyway and it’s very comforting I don’t mind. It’s one of the very human things Sprite does that amuses me and makes me wonder why people think that the cat has to be the baby. Nymph was helping and worked her way down after, which tickled considerably. I managed to not laugh too much and after Sprite was done she curled up to purr on my knees.

Sprite proved to me long ago that her purring can ease my pain. I am sure there is a psychological component but she usually warms and massages the muscles and there is some mention in a national geographic that I can’t find (or I’d give you the source) that the cats purr can increase bone density. It’s being studied. Cats do purr more when they are wounded and Sprite purrs more and closer to my body’s aches and pains.

I felt it then, I really had dislocated my knee. It wasn’t something I had felt because the bone had tried to go back into place and was pinching the tissues. I could feel the exact spot that was out, it wasn’t my knee cap which is the usual suspect but instead my stretchy tissues had let my knee snap down when I’d stumbled in the bathroom, the one place I have to walk.

With a different type of dislocation I had to figure out how to fix it, but with Sprite’s help that didn’t actually take much. I just dangled my leg over the end of the bed, she went on the floor and pushed up. It hurt, but I could feel gravity pull things apart and with her pushing up, not a lot of force needed, everything snapped into place. It made me feel like I am a giant Lego. The sound was similar.

She tucked me in again and resumed purring on my knees. I slept for four hours uninterrupted, which is twice as much as normal. Nymph and Sprite took turns being closest to my legs when I would shift or roll over. This morning my legs still ache but the pain is almost subtle, almost normal, and it is decreasing rapidly. My muscles are tired from over compensating so it will be a few days but once again Sprite has amazed me with her grasp of how to make her human better.

If I had a million cat dollars (mouse tails perhaps?) I’d give them to her just for her awesomeness.

Freedom (Trigger Warning)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chain Letters about White Privilege

I recieved a chain letter long ago, and it came around again. this chain letter is about White Privilege. It touts it as a good thing, it even lists examples of privilege. The person who forwarded it to me had a note at the top, stating they didn’t see the big deal. I do. I have discovered most of my favorite blogs that are about feminism are written by People of Color. I am also aware of my white privilege. I wasn’t always but, I must address this chain letter. The letter will be in red, my responses will be in black.

So very sad, but so very true. I am not a racist….I am an American. I am very proud of my ethnicity, as all should be in this melting pot we call our home. But if we are all “equal” why is it that these comments are so true today???

Just how are these statements true? Why do we need labels for each culture that has been added to this melting pot? (Insert required fondu joke here)

Something to think about. . .

This e-mail does contain wording that is meant to express an open opinion to a major problem in the USA . It is estimated that only 11% of those receiving this e-mail will read it all the way to the end. In addition, it is estimated that only 1% of non-white color will read this past this point and 99% will blow it away because of the title. It is a shame this sentiment exists when we tell the world that the USA is the best place to Live, Worship, Work, and Play.

Very bogus statistics. Any time you estimate a percentage without any numbers to work with, it is meant to cause a reaction. I see this with doctors even, trying to ignore rare diseases. It is only rare most of the time, due to a lack of acknowledgment. We tell the world the USA is the best place, but, we live here so of course we will try and seem tough and good. I often see the USA as a little kid throwing a tantrum. If I could immigrate to somewhere I would. Not every person in the USA worships either.

“WHITE ” Pride”

White Privilege.

This is great. I have been wondering about why Whites are racists, and no other race is…..

Plenty of other races are. Every human has the capacity to be racist.

Proud to be White

Michael Richards makes his point………….. Michael Richards better known as Kramer from TVs Seinfeld does make a good point.

He does?

This was his defense speech in court after making racial comments in his comedy act. He makes some very interesting points…

He verbally attacked a man in the audience based on race, because he was heckled. As a public performer I know better, as do most. There was no excuse for his outburst. He could have used any other word.

Someone finally said it. How many are actually paying attention to this? There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc.

ETC? You want to label people, just to enhance your privilege. That is what I see from this.

And then there are just Americans. You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me ‘White boy,’ ‘Cracker,’ ‘Honkey,’ ‘Whitey,’ ‘Caveman’… and that’s OK.

No it is not okay. Every citizen of the United States is JUST an American. It is your own racism that is showing as you write this out. My friend who just became a citizen after immigrating is still JUST AN AMERICAN.

It is never acceptable to use racist terms against any person. I also do not know of Caveman being used against whites. I have heard it used against Persons of Color, predominantly those of African descent.

But when I call you, Kike, Towel head, Camel Jockey, Beaner, or Chink .. You call me a racist.

If you call someone those names, you are a racist. I am white too bub, you are being racist.

You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you…. so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?

Whites do a lot of racial profiling in order to further their white privilege. Ghettos are not the most dangerous places to live, in reality they are dangerous yes, but only due to the negligence, police profiling and poverty. You will now likely argue that poverty is a choice. I never chose to be disabled or poor, to have to fight for my right to buy cheese. Neither did they. It is much harder to get a job if you are not a white man. You have privilege. Deal with it.

You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day.

We have pretty much every other holiday on the map, and we white folk also have most other scholarships. We too share Martin Luther King JR day. Do you think that the entirety of Black History has no white men in it? Are you really going to claim that the Civil Rights movement had nothing to do with white folk? Some marched with our friends who happen to be of color.

You have Black History Month. You have Cesar Chavez Day.

We have White History Year.

You have Yom Hashoah. You have Ma’uled Al-Nabi.

Again, we have white history year.

You have the NAACP. You have BET… If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we’d be racists. If we had a White Pride Day, you would call us racists.

We have White Pride year, we have ABC, NBC, HBO, CBS, and every other network out there for what we want. A lot of lily white people on my TV. Not all of them as talented as some of the folks on BET.

If we had White History Month, we’d be racists.

Again? Are you running out of ways to show your privilege? White history year. Every history class focuses on white white white history. I barely heard of the civil rights movement in school. I only learned it happened because one of my teachers happened to be a PoC. I am glad for that because my education would be even more incomplete.

If we had any organization for only whites to ‘advance’ OUR lives, we’d be racists.

The GOP comes to mind. As does Wall Street, oh wait, Harvard!

We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce. Wonder who pays for that??

From what I recall, chambers of commerce sprang up out of a need. The local Hispan@ chamber of commerce came up because the white boys wouldn’t let the persons of hispanic descent in. We pay for it, because we also refuse to share.

A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant.

A disabled person cannot enter the Miss America pageant. It is inaccessible. Even white disabled people. I have no issue with Miss Latin@ America, Miss Black America, or even Miss Fat America. They all exist. If we limit ourselves to one choice for everything, it does not circumvent our privilege and continues the absolutely obvious racism.

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships… You know we’d be racists.

We used to. Most Ivy League schools qualify. We are pretty darned racist.

There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US . Yet if there were ‘White colleges’, that would be a racist college.

Did you forget about SEGREGATION? A lot of people get illegally denied access to education based on skin color. I am all for the underclassed, non white, or non male having a leg up. It’s called EQUALITY. You claim you want it but you are spewing racism.

In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists.

A lot of different groups march for their rights. The disabled even do it. Do you really believe there were no non blacks in the Million Man March? What about the Suffragettes? These women were mostly white fighting for the right to vote. They marched. The White folk in this country already have their rights, it is not about taking from you. It is about making certain that everyone has an equal opportunity.

You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you’re not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.

I am proud of who I am, my ancestry is a part of that. This does not mean that as the ruling race, I have the right to expect those who have been dominated, abused, and beaten to not find pride in themselves when a large part of the American Culture is to try and devalue their race.

You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist.

The phrasing on this implies that only persons of color commit crimes. A lot of white people car jack, murder, and beat on one another. Violence with in race is often very high. This includes white people. Not every black person who is shot is guilty, in a gang, or a drug dealer on the run. Not all people of color are posing threats to society. Nor is every white cop going to racial profile. Do you deny that beating a person who is already in cuffs is appropriate? Denying the wrongs that happen does not make the rights apparent.

Why is it that only whites can be racists??

Delusion. If only white people could be racists then, the world would be very different.

There is nothing improper about this e-mail. Let’s see which of you are proud enough to send it on. I sadly don’t think many will.. That’s why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country. We won’t stand up for ourselves!

We have lost most of our rights? Since when? Do you mean that enslaving other races is just fine? Do you mean that denying innocent victims is fine? What about segregation? It sure sounds like that is what you want. I am white. I am also aware that being white means I am automatically given more respect than a person of color. We white people have not lost our rights. This letter is a reaction to the fear of losing your power over another culture, race, or religion. There is a lot wrong with this letter, as you can see.

Why is it alright for us to stand up for our rights but if a group of women, disabled, persons of color, or even Gays, Lesbians, Transgendered Persons, or any mixture of the above do, your rights are suddenly going to vanish. Why is a culture and society advancing towards the elusive goal of equality so hard? Why do you see nothing wrong with trying to be aware of white privilege? I am a womanist. I am a white person. I have all my rights. Check under the couch for yours.

BE PROUD TO BE WHITE!

I would rather be proud to not be a bigot, I would rather be proud to be aware of my privilege, and I would rather be proud to look someone in the eye and see that they are a person not a threat.

It’s not a crime YET… but getting very close!

Congress, Most of Obama’s cabinet, and the Senate…. most of them are white. Why would they make it illegal to be white? Are you insane? I think you are.

It is estimated that ONLY 5% of those reaching this point in this e-mail, will pass it on.

It is estimated that ONLY 95% of people reading this letter and reaching this point have not deleted it because it is completely inappropriate, incorrect, and full of racist, white male patriarchial, and white privileged propaganda.

I do not understand the need to defend a racist action. This is the same as blaming the victim for being beaten, raped, or saying someone deserved to be murdered. What ever you believe, at times it is wise to question it. This can shake the foundations of your reality. It can also make you a better person.

I remember reading this letter several years ago. I was fresh into my legal adult status, and I felt things. Disgust mostly. I feared it was true, and realized upon a small bit of research that this was fake. I deleted it and asked the person who originally sent it to me to please go away and not talk to me anymore. My moment of realization caused some over reaction, but, I became aware of the Isms, the discrimination of others.

I had yet to taste it for myself. I post this here, and I welcome you to share THIS version of the letter, if you so desire.

Ability and the Computer

My eyes are crapping out. I have a hole in the retina of one eye and neither can focus on anything near or far. I haven’t been able to read paper without great pain, and sometimes not at all, for over a year. Last time I saw an eye doctor she sent me to a specialist who ignored me, hurt me, and told me nothing was wrong and to ignore my degeneration.

The computer is a bastion of information for me. I have not seen the TV in a long time. When I really like a show I will risk the headache from eyestrain. Usually, it isn’t worth it. Even the computer is starting to fail me. Thanks to William Shakespurr, who turned out to be a Special Needs Kitty, I discovered a new command on my keyboard. I am sure everyone else knew about this but, hitting control and moving the mouse scroll button (that wheely thing in the middle) changes the text size in Firefox. Sweet heaven! I can actually SEE what I want to see. Not only does this magnify the text, without the annoying magnifier that Windows has Built In, but it magnifies the images too. Often without over pixelization, unlike the Magnifier.

If only I could do this to my TV. I am wanting to save for a huuuuge HD screen but, that is unreasonable at this time. My Person and I discussed it, yet with the economy he is having trouble finding a second job. My income does ascertain the rent but it is still $20 short. Without his work we do not eat. Without his work we do not have shelter. I hate SSI. They tell me I should be able to live just fine on it, but I do not.

My computer has helped me discover things such as, I should have a regular old wheelchair. Electric in my case is regular and old fashioned. I do not like the way scooters work. They are not really the proper adaptation for me. I may have to wait five years to get a proper wheelchair. The scooter turned out to be a good stepping stone.

I only discovered the notion of wheels on my butt when my friend came to town and brought his recently deceased mother’s manual chair and insisted we use it so that I could keep up. I actually did things four days in a row! Sure, I could not push myself, I tried and dislocated both shoulders. I had to be pushed and hated that, but I loved being conscious of my surroundings.

I even had enough mind power to rebudget my cash so I could buy a sword cane. That wasn’t quite enough to win me over. What happened next was a camping event with the SCA. There was no way up the hill to the camp where my friends were, I had to choose between volunteering at the event and actually seeing people I missed. I had to keep my word, and therefore I was stuck working. It was exhausting and I kept wishing for a way up the hill.

Another visit from a friend and we rented a wheelchair, also manual. I never considered the option of a scooter. This one was less comfortable, broke when too much pressure was put on the handles, because of a lack of a curbcut, but, I ran into that energy thing again.

My doctor looked surprised when I broached the topic. It took me almost another year before I had the guts, but I was dragging and my best memories in recent years consisted of rolling. I no longer shopped in stores that did not offer me an electric scooter, and I was missing out. I never did anything. Part of the challenges that would follow retained that sort of reality for me for a long time but I got my scooter. I was allowed to choose my model, and after a month of research on the computer I chose my Legend XL.

Now I miss it, and the computer helped me discover I am not the only one who has had a defective tool. I am working on finding the courage to ask for legislation mandating a quality level in assistive devices. Most are ugly, and most break fast. They are also over priced. Government regulation could make it where insurance isn’t needed for a simple bath chair. They denied me mine, a friend bought it so I could bathe.

I am free of misery now that my quality of life has increased, yet I am finding the loaner scooter painful. It hurts my body often, and has helped me seet he flaws in my legend. It will always be wanted, and if we can repair it the Legend will become a camping Scooter once I get my regular chair but I cannot handle the jerking of the tiller. Often it is torn out of my hands, or my back hurts from leaning forward to reach the supposedly adjustable tiller. It isn’t without great force applied. I do not have great force. The loaner does the jerking thing too, nearly breaking my thumb once. It also doesn’t handle little things like pebbles or cracks in the sidewalk well at all. The seat is the one off of my own scooter, required medically to be transferred. The little loaner scooter also fails to start on cold mornings. I miss my early morning events. I miss doing things because Loaner doesn’t hold a good charge. It almost died during a Toastmasters meeting between the lectern and my spot. Five whole feet.

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