Advocacy and Pain

Today, after finding out that the worst person I have ever known died I had to do some internal evaluation. You see, by advocating for the rights of the ill, the disabled, and the person in need I advocated for the rights of the worst person I have ever met. I questioned why I do it. It turns out, it doesn’t matter. When I say I will advocate for anyone, I really do mean everyone. After the initial shock of realizing I had helped him, I felt a mix of emotions and realized, I cannot let his actions endanger the person I am.

When you become better than what you were told you couldĀ  be, it feels good. Often you have to fight to retain awareness of why you are the way you are. Sometimes it looks easier to revert to basic training. This means you try and force yourself back into the role of victim. This means you try and become the abuser. Feeling the urge to hole up and let the world have it’s way with my Civil Rights, hurts.

When you choose to become an advocate, you might help someone you do not want to. Dealing with that awareness is also painful. I do not want to make the life of a child rapist better. You never know who might benefit from your actions beyond the faces you see daily. Dealing with the struggle means you must get past this.

No matter what your main cause is, I say main because I do not believe in discrimination from a single facet, you must accept that people who are not necessarily the people you want in your cause, may benefit. It is not wrong to help them. I felt like I did something wrong by helping my father. This is ludicrous and this is thinking that can poison the movement.

To advocate means to risk facing people who could hurt you. Many people run into this daily. The advocate is the person who takes an extra strain, so that the innocent people of this world can be uplifted. My father suffered in his final days, but his Widow, who loves him and is in emotional agony, did not suffer as much because he recieved proper care.

So, as you advocate for your self and others, be aware, sometimes you might help someone, and the benefit is not always just for the good or the bad.

Isms, Hisms and Hersms

I read a few blogs on the internet circuit, some of them deal with feminism, some deal with racism, some deal with ableism, and others deal with Fatism. Isms of all shapes, sizes, colors, and one for each of us, sometimes two. Someone was having a sale on their isms when our culture was created, tossing them out like sprinkles on a cake. I am tired of isms today.

I have a great doctor. I will recommend her to just about anyone, for in her office there are no isms, just lists of things to get done. I now have an epipen, a referral for the dozens of undiagnosed whats its, and even a new diagnosis. I also was given the option of advocating for breast cancer awareness. The point was made that with my body being as it is, I have become acutely aware of risks and am in the perfect position to teach other disabled women about breast cancer.

I have thankfully never had breast cancer or even felt a strange lump but I do self exams weekly. I know it is recommended that you do monthly examinations, yet, this is not enough for me. I have relatives who have had cancer in all of their parts. Breast, brain, uterine, ovarian, liver, lung, you name it, and it has had cancer. I also have a lot of conditions, including one that effects my skin and therefore hypervigilance is necessary. Beyond this, what has made my doctor decide I am a great advocate? Self adaptation.

My breasts weigh a lot. Not only is the tissue very dense, making them pert and perky despite their size, but, it makes it harder to find lumps once you breach the FF quadrant. I left that a long time ago. I shared with her today my methods for a successful self examination. I have to adapt to the needs of my body and this means I may lay on my side, I may hang upside down, but, I always make certain to feel not just my breasts in a circular and consistent fashion, but my armpits and down my sides a bit.

I am lucky that I have had strong women in my life. I have an aunt who has had stage four Breast Cancer for longer than I have been alive. This woman has fought, and fought and thrives. She does at times worry her family for her life, but, she has dealt with cancer with no break for over twenty five years. In my mind she is the best teacher I can have about why cancer awareness is so important. Without knowing her, I might not have decided to live during one of the bouts with suicidal thoughts that I went through as a teenager. I might not have begun to battle with myself for proper medical care.

I have a lot of diagnosis, the list grows daily, but, my isms are mine. I am a short, fat, white girl in a wheelchair. I am also blessed with very rare breasts, the sort that women have painful surgery to mirror. I have great hair, great eyes (when they see) and a brain. I am facing daily challenges with ableism, fatism, and even some fetishism. Sexism is a consistent battle. I also face the blessings of people who are better than the isms. I face the knowledge given to me by my fellow females, and now I must learn to share.

Take stock of your isms, be you male or female. Take a look at what you are given by station in life, what you have fought for, and, if you have enough to share, reach out and help someone rise above. I will post about my chances to advocate for breast health. I am even going to start getting mammograms, a need I had hoped to put off for at least ten more years, but perhaps I can come up with a way to make them less painful.

This is hardly a new idea, I am merely following in the path of others who have taught me. This is not an area I had ever expected to be asked to advocate in, but, how can I deny the request when I know that even one person may become self aware?

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