Pokemon and Homeless Children (Spoilers and Triggers Ahead)

I usually do not blog about brand new shiny toys, due to income levels I tend to be way behind the curve but I was gifted Pokemon X this month and devoured the initial story rapidly. This is my favorite story so far. Yet after that initial story there is another… instead of just endlessly hunting pokemon down (710 I think now) you end up with a VERY socially aware story. I have a page break here so that people wanting to not be spoiled as far as plot can avoid it.

 

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Voices Rising from Silence (PTSD Trigger Warning)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Occupy Hope

I turned off for a while this year. I just needed to shut down. I fought it at first then I let myself drift. Just as I started to come back on the annual depression spree and PTSD kicked in. I did not stop watching the world entirely but the thread was tenuous. I pulled into myself in order to survive and function. I was stolen from by carers. Stupid things. Things. Not important. Some very important. Nothing of greater value than my dolls. That cuts deep still but not as deeply as if they had taken my fine jewelry or had physically harmed me or the cats. The second most important thing out of the myriad is Sprite’s drinking bottle. M has rescued Sprite from being trapped in the house. She recovered her ability before I did.

I have wondered for many years, since I learned about nonviolent protests if I would get to see one happen, without people being maimed. I did. I lived to see peaceful protest in at least one example end successfully. Some people will say that Occupy Wallstreet is using technology to facilitate this but technically savvy does not mean peaceful. It just means youth over all, intelligence and adaptability. I sit here in a world Star Trek dreamed of and I find myself for the first time hopeful. I came back online in the proverbial sense and immediately was innundated with a lot of horrible things, right on my doorstep. Literally.

The police are so corrupt that the Federal Government is trying to investigate but even the mayor of Albuquerque is not allowing this. These words put me in danger to type but I will not stay silent. I read stories, hear stories and feel the brunt of this corruption constantly. GOing out of my house has always frightened me to a point, then my exhusband happened and it became a task where each inch is a mile. This corruption, knowing that if I end up arrested they will find this blog and I will die for it? That shut me down too. I wanted to survive but thriving seemed out of reach.

Yet elsewhere in the world, people are standing in the cold or heat dependent on their local region together. They are working to fight for my freedoms in a way that I wished for so many times. My dream of moving away and being safe stays a possibility because these people fight for their own rights and mine. I do not know what will happen but a part of me knows that the moment a great movement of violence occurs this thing will explode. Its not a matter of time, but a matter of daily choices by millions of people and a single wrong choice is dire. The odds of this staying peaceful are so slim yet we have seen efficacy in this protest that has gone unmatched.

I think it is the multigenerational aspect of this protest. IT is not the first generation of protestors alone or just the youth of today but a bridge of various peoples and experiences. Its the right leadership. Its also desperation. The protestor cannot afford to die, to lose their ability to work for having been violent, and no one wants pain. This desperation can turn on itself in a moment yet, peace has prevailed. This is not to say there are not individuals that with in the movement haven’t made mistakes, died from violence with in the camps but that is part of such a large gathering of people. The fact that the police and the government sent spies in says a lot. The rich plan the destruction of the movement, unwittingly fueling this. The one percent… I am at the opposing end of the spectrum just by being disabled and not working.

None of the problems we adults face today are from just our time on this planet. You can be 100 or more years old and some of these issues are generational. Peace as a protest is still very new. I recently spoke to someone about technology being in it’s teenage years, rebelling in it’s creation of anything and everything for a price. Peace is still in it’s infancy. This is the birth.

I am a member of the 99%. I live in daily fear of starvation. I live in daily fear that the police will throw me illegally out of my house. I live in fear that the neighborhood I live in, considered the warzone in a state so poverty stricken and corrupt will explode in violence. It’s been quiet for a few months. Its just a matter of time until the shootouts resume. I do not mean the once a week kind we’ve had but the daily kind, where regardless of the sun people are hunting one another in the streets like sport. I fight for basic medical care and feel guilt in knowing that most of the 99% working or not do not get the same medical coverage because we are deemed less than and subhuman for not being born with money. Money that most often is the result of crimes like bootlegging, or exploitation of people feeling as desperate as I do.

So I am supporting Occupy Wallstreet with my most potent weapon. My words. I cannot go into the streets and protest. I wouldn’t survive the exposure to the sun, cold, rain, etc and dying horribly does not support the movement. However, I can add my voice to the Chorus. I did not dive in head first. I sat back and watched and I am honored to live to see this protest.

Apocalypse Now (Trigger Warning)

I am a survivor, as should be well documented by my propensity to not die when people tell me to. I spent a good portion of every day, without consciously realizing it, assessing my surroundings for survival. This is not as bad as it used to be, but even so the moment I had extra money I bought things to survive on. All things I buy must have a purpose. I consider reading purposeful as I have all sorts of books in my ereader, and most are about survival. Pleasure is also important to survival. My solar charger fits all my electronic devices that aren’t wheelchairs. In fact I have a design for a wheelchair based on surviving without electricity.

I didn’t realize how much surviving ran me until today. I have had mini epiphanies before about small aspects of this survival mode I have never lived without, and I am further away from that bare bones mentality than I used to be. In fact I like to think on how I could survive things to be prepared. This has caused a few issues including hoarding tendencies. I can use this to survive. I wonder for a moment how many people who hoard are survivors stuck in a world that hasn’t hit the apocalypse yet. Like me.

I sat down to watch a reality TV show, The Colony. I made it through two episodes, but I was NOT okay. At first I thought it was the machismo that was displayed by the men while the women were relegated to cooking and laundry. Then I started to talk to M, my friend. M who has helped me to survive, and has seen me grow over many years. He is in so many ways the balance to me. That scares me too but I started to talk with him about where these survivors went wrong. They first and foremost ignored food and water for too long, I kept laughing as their shelter had things magically appearing and no one tried to eat the camera men. I would. I would refer to them as bacon and by the end of the first episode would have them wary about getting too close to me if I were to partake. Then again, reality tv shows are too scripted.

It was the lack of their realism that hit me. I looked at the actions of these men and women and not one was gearing towards actual survival. They know that this experiment will be over, and they are just playing along. They waited almost a week to go food hunting, water they did sooner but really, they waited too long. Their shelter is not secure. If there were real threats, they would be dead. In the world in which I would survive these people who spend their hours trying to restore privileges like electricity are lost.

I realized as I watched them eat more food in their survival mode than I do a day that I have a problem. I call my meals my rations. I get accessories for cellphones and MP3 players that could work without electricity. Music is my coping skill, and I value feeling happy. You survive better with joy. Some of this triggering brought images of hunger from my childhood. I felt a panic about all the food I cannot eat, the water I cannot drink. I cried.

I am crying again just thinking on the feelings. I live as if the world is ended now. I stock pile food. If my food is below a certain level in my fridge I stop eating. I have a problem. I am aware of this and have been to a degree but I had not seen the whole picture. Each item separated from itself was less of a worry than putting them together in one go. I will kill you and eat you to survive. I also spend too much time worrying about how to survive things. I know the best places to hole up in my community, I know that I would not want a lot of people with me but at most four, I know… what to do. Unequivocally, a lot of this is based on my life.

I am setting a goal. M and I discussed it and I am going to try to eat two meals EVERY day not just when I feel safe. So… seven days a week. I am up to snacking daily and eating a moderate meal. I am not going to let myself call my food rations anymore. I do this just mentally but it is what we think to ourselves that betrays our reality the most. I feel a bit sick even thinking about changing my food. Yet, what if I get stronger by leaving survival mode? I know too eating well BEFORE the End of Days would be the best way to survive. Going in stretched already mentally and physically thin is an issue.

I also understand why I have been in tears over Monster High Dolls. I have cried at night when I could not conceive of wanting them. They aren’t needed for survival. That’s my worry. I am looking at the toys and art I have, most of it predates my recent starvation triggers with the room and the year of stuff. The few bought after either have one still in a box just like it on my wall or are just in their box. The only action figures opened either predate my disability, are in a very small phase that lasted a week of mental security post disability, or are in their boxes in case I need to sell them later. Even Batman.

I haven’t bought any new books over the years, I have more rechargeable batteries on hand at all times fully charged than most people ever need. Though I could use them all, I ration them too. Just in case. I have four flashlights, two that will travel with me, and I have been saving up for a solar charger. I also have first aid kits everywhere. I am so ready for an emergency that sometimes I sit here when nothing needs to be done and visualize my plan of escape in my house in case of X disaster forcing me out. Where would I go? Would I have time to grab my wheelchair charger? If not how will I get around after the battery dies? I am still going to work on that solar powered chair design but, that is so I can become a wealthy woman in a mansion.

In fact there is more. In my mind when I imagine having money I don’t buy a house, a car, a boat and all the trappings of wealth. I buy a computer that is reliable, I buy a house that is in a secure location or if it’s a better day it is built to my specifications, and I marry M. We then can live forever on my money but both still work. I understand my anger at the man who lamented no coffee, the man who spent a day finding coffee on the show, and everyone being jubilant over a bean being smushed and boiled. Their goals at restoring privileges I do not even concieve of is a concern. I am afraid for myself.

I cannot conceptualize a world where there is enough food, water (Sprite), shelter, and where things are replaceable. This has come up several times recently. As I consider moving, I am faced with culling things that are replaceable to others but the cost stalls me. My bed is fine, but to move it will cost me 1000 dollars. To replace it? Less. So why is it that I am afraid to move because I would have to get a bed that isn’t jury rigged? My bed is in need of replacement if I move. No choice, yet just in case there is no more, I want to haul it across the country. This is just an example. Everything is that way. In fact I have cried more in the last few days over the ideas of having new things than I knew I could.

I have never lived with enough. My first apartment, I never unpacked my things because I didn’t believe I could stay there. This is a trait that is multi generational. This is terrifying to me all the more. I come from a family of hoarders. I come from a family that is so trapped up in the cycle of abuse that we starve ourselves and think we aren’t just in case there is never any more food.

So here is my plan. This takes care of two issues.

At Walmart I am to buy something completely useless on the first. Not shoes, clothing, bags, make up or anything that I actually need. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just useless and something I desire.

Tomorrow I am going to lay out a meal plan, setting a menu of food. I am going to make a check list. At the end of the week, if I have eaten every meal and snack planned, I am going to get a gold star on the proverbial chart. After ten gold stars I get a prize. After the restocking I also get a monster high doll. I am not allowed to buy anymore toys that I keep in their packages. I may even get to a point where I can unbox my action figures. Most of them anyway. The ones where I bought two just so I could play with them can stay in their boxes. I am going to move and when I move, I am going to get a nice bed, that doesn’t have broken supports that are held up by a homemade set up. The bed is safe but that is because I know how to survive.

I know surviving isn’t a BAD thing. The problem is when I am so busy trying to survive an apocalypse that hasn’t happened yet that I forget to live. i forget that being happy is important to survival. I know that eating daily is important and I have always struggled. i know that my family is a pitiful mass of humanity and my baby sister (she is not pitiful but is awesome despite them) and they hurt like this. I am going to escape the pain by facing it.

I am afraid of seeing this for what it is, generational sickness. This is a product of how I was raised and of my fears based on being homeless, hungry, and all of the times I have not had enough. This is the Aha moment and perhaps facing these issues will improve my quality of life. I have had some start on this already, recently M the carer commented that I only buy staples for food and so we made a very large amount of fudge. I am eating some of that fudge now as a reminder that the world did not end because I made something delicious to eat out of pleasure.

I secretly hope that I can maybe consume more fruits than before or some of my food allergies decrease if my body is not strained. I don’t know yet. Maybe the spontaneous tissue tears that are starting up are a result of this too, because there is no cause. Yes I am eating, but am I eating enough? No.  Ineed to eat at least TWO meals a day. The goal is three. What if my eating breakfast makes me physically ill because my body just hasn’t learned how to eat that much food yet?

What if I feel so good and am so happy the world explodes into a Happypocalypse of joy where I really am okay? Scarily, there is pink involved in this image in my head. Horrid horrid pink.

 

Pumpkin Pie (Trigger Warning)

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

Not how thanksgiving looks inside my head

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

This is what I expect of Thanksgiving.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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