Not All Expectations Are Positive. (Trigger Warning)

Nymph taught me something. I didn’t really know the words for the lesson but she taught me something special. I have always tried to fulfill expectations, and not everything expected of me is positive. The expectations started out as parental, then became my own. I spent years expecting myself to fail because I was unworthy of success.

The expectation for a kitten in a new house are as follows.

1. Existing cats will fight with the new one, no matter the age. The cats will fight for dominance. Kittens cause less of this but there will be yowling and fighting.

2. The kitten, like a new puppy, will spend the next two months crying for it’s mommy.

3. Kittens make messes, your new cat will probably poop on your bed, the floor, and miss the box a few times.

4. Kittens need constant attention.

5. Kittens will bite, tear, and claw.

Nymph has not met most of these expectations and the one she does, is not in the expected manner.

Truths about Nymph.

1. From her first moment in the door, she has been loving and gentle. She has not fought with Sprite except in the manner of play fighting. She has only cried out in pain when she is hurt because she ran into a wall or fell off of the couch and is hanging upside down and needs heroic rescuing. This has occured twice now, but she has mastered getting into the window.

2. Nymph does meow a lot, but her meow is musical and very sweet. She sounds a bit Siamese but without the added tones that I find unpleasant. She has the prettiest meow I have ever heard! Not once has she cried out of loneliness while I have been around. She has a few times called for me or Sprite, when disoriented or lost behind … the couch! She usually calls for us first thing when she wakes from sleep. If I speak she is quiet coming to sit on the floor by my chair. Sometimes she tries to get up here. She is quiet all night long.

3. The first day I had her I was holding her and she had to pee. I could feel her poor bladder stretched out. So i carried her to the litterbox, set her in and waited. She went, and hopped out. I did have Sprite teach her to cover her crap, because it hides the smell. She now over does that and will put it as low as she can. She has not once made a mess. She did vomit from eating too quickly a few days ago, but, that is different than the expected mess, and she has learned her limitations now. (She also REALLY likes Salmon).

4. I need more attention than Nymph it seems! Sprite has helped Nymph to get enough play, and I do play with this darling girl but she is okay if I ignore her. She does check in with me, and did about five minutes ago. She makes sure I am still around when she thinks I am too quiet, and I see more of her when I lay down. The chair is imposing and contributes, but each day she shows she is independent. She will play with the toys by herself, or she will play catch with Sprite. Catch is literal. Sprite flings a toy with her mouth, and Nymph returns it after pouncing it.

5. Nymph likes to claw things, but she prefers her scratching post and toys. She has scratched me once, though it was purely accidental. She is also teething so she wants to chew things to make her mouth feel better. She’s apparently swallowing the baby teeth that are falling out and has at times skipped the dry food even if this makes her hungrier for a day (I feed her extra wet food, because I am such a darned softy for this kitten) and every so often will go after my hands. She wants to nurse my pinkies. Still, all I have to do is say No, ouch. She has learned this means to stop and always feels bad. I get extra cuddling from her after.

This shows me two things. One thing I knew already, Sprite isn’t the only super amazing genuis cat ever born, and the other something I should have known and have at least figured out. Expectations are set before us, but not all of them are worthy of us.

People expect me to disappear when in public because of my disability. Today I punched someone, the third since my chair became a part of my life. Every time I go out people act like idiots and their expectation is that I enjoy inane questions, sometimes verbal and physical abuse, and I will just take it. Each time I have punched someone, I have found myself confused at the glee that others show. I do not expect glee at an act of physical violence. I often come to the conclusion that this reaction is because I did the unexpected and also I did something that these people desired for themselves.

Today a woman decided to poke me. I was waiting in line at Costco, my carer was in the restroom. She had been doing the potty dance, so I told her she should go because I could manage the transaction, my things were already unloaded. I asked her to stop nicely, I always try to be nice first. I am working on skipping the nice but I don’t think I can. She didn’t. I asked nicely twice, and snarled it. Upon being snarled at she put her face in mine. I held my breath incase she had eaten a cucumber and I punched her as hard as I could. I can punch hard but it hurts me too. My shoulder is aching and for two days my right arm will be of less use.

I never really know what to expect once I hit someone on one level, on another I expect for them to hit me back. No one has. The first person I knocked out, the second I don’t really remember today I just remember sore fingers, and the third ran off in tears. I think she called me names but I couldn’t understand her through the wailing.

The expectations of witnesses are to panic. No one has yet. Instead, people find my striking a bigot amusing. I get told variations of good job, I wish I could, and today a money saving coupon for money off of my purchase (I saved ten dollars!). I expect security. I expect reprimands. That has yet to happen. The cashier had been about to interviene, I realized this after I had hit her. She hadbeen speaking to the woman. I had already committed myself to feeling flesh on flesh and the spark of violence. I wasn’t angry. I was panicked.

I don’t hit out of anger. I expect it, when I am angry but the more I want to hit the less I let myself. I have yet to commit an act of violence with anger as an adult. As a child I did so mostly because I thought this was what was expected of someone when angry. I literally did not know better. I do now.

I know I could have taken care of the situation without hitting this woman yet, I feel GOOD about striking her. I knew immediately I was about to melt down if I didn’t contain the situation and put my headphones on, but I could keep one ear open. My carer missed the entire situation. I think the woman that I hit waited until she was gone before seeking to touch me. This means she was a predator. This means she was a threat. This is the time of year when I struggle most with violence, the fear of being hurt grows. This used to be the start of a half a year of self destruction followed by a half a year of recovery before I would be destroyed again. This cycle is ending.

I am fighting it. I was told I never could. I was told the expectations for me as an adult were not good.

Adult Expectations for Kat

1. You will never live on your own.
2. You will never work.
3. You will be in and out of institutions because you aren’t good enough for society (a therapist phrased it this way).
4. You will end up in jail.
5. You will commit suicide before you are 25. (This was before I was aware that I am supposed to die every year from my disabilities and illnesses.)
6. You will never get married.
7. You will be an abuser if you date.
8. No one can love you.
9. You are not strong, you can’t be independant.
10. You cannot take care of yourself.
11. You will always be lazy.
12. You are a hypochondriac, every time someone has a sickness you think you do too. This will lead you to self mutilation, and may be the cause of death that gets you before suicide. Not that it matters, because you aren’t a productive member of society.
13. You aren’t creative. No one will want you to be a writer, an artist, and you don’t sing as well as you think you do or you would be on the radio.

I list them this way, though I feel a few are redundant, because this was the list I was given when I turned 17. The therapist at the mental hospital I was in told me I was hopeless, that I would never make it to adulthood, muchless the twenty five mark. He made it clear that I was so valueless that there were no positive expectations for me. He said something that has haunted me more than his lack of respect. “If you were more like your older sister, then there would be hope.” He had never met H. He had only heard my mother’s biases. My sister was like the dead in a way, in that once she left she was treated as the saint that could do no wrong. Mind you, she ran off, got married to a close blood relative and had babies that she couldn’t take care of.

Yeah. She’s better than me in his eyes. I was angry. I believed him. I realized then and there that this was how the world saw me. He rehashed everything that my abusers had and would say. He took me down to nothingness, but as I was already as low as I could go he gave me something else. The first sensation of a spark of self respect.

This was not his intent. He was working on having me placed in a group home, because my mother agreed, I could never come home. After all, I was/am an evil horrible monster that will destroy family values and all that she cares about. Right? (Probably still am in her eyes… )

I behaved as he wanted. I learned how. I went to the Ranch, and I learned how to fake it in society. I learned the right facial expressions for the moods I have, according to other people. I don’t bother trying all that now, though a lot of that programming is still there. If I glower when happy, it’s because of pain. If I don’t act like a perky air head, it’s because I don’t feel like one. If I do not meet your expectations it’s because they are wrong.

The Truths About Kateryna Fury (Add Jackass in parenthesis to each statement. That’s what I feel when writing this part. Boy was that therapist an unqualified Jackass):
1. I live on my own. I have lived on my own as often as possible. I stopped living on my own once for financial reasons. I thrive on my own. I will never live with other people, unless it becomes state mandated, and then I will sue for my freedom.
2. Kateryna picks up her resume, skims it over and looks at the myriad of work that she has done. She notes her charity work, and with a smile that shows malice mails this off to the Jackass. (Novel Style Oh snap)
3. I am going to say this once. Needing the assistance of a therapist does not make you weak, it does not make you a person without value, and it does not mean that you are unworthy of society. If I need to go to an institution I will. I do not think I need this. Yes, I have mental health issues including depression and constant suicidal ideation (the words of the Jackass), I deal with PTSD. I learned the right way to handle this stuff… from therapists that are not jackasses. I have not set foot in an institution since becoming an adult, except once when I was hallucinating from pain and mistook this pain for psychosis, as I had yet to learn how to feel the difference. I was NOT admitted but instead had the doctors send me to the ER for medical reasons. I was given care and it wasn’t all in my head. I haven’t even found a therapist yet and have looked for the last year but I am not in the institution, nor will I go there. I’d die first because you work there.
4. Jail? Hmm… I do punch people. The only threat of Jail I have had was an illegal one. I do not break the laws, and the reasoning behind this statement was PTSD related. I hit people when I am afraid, and PTSD means for me constant fear. Finding a way to free myself from my PTSD and the link to my reactions in Autism set me free. I may go to jail someday in the future but I doubt it.
5. I turn 26 in September. So far I have not even tried to kill myself as an adult. I may want to at times but in reality that is internalized garbage from shit factories like you. In actuality a few of your patients have died, I know because we did know each other and it made the news. One was murdered, one was a suicide by cop (The patient you told me to idealize no less, though I mourn her you sure suck at your job, Jackass). Another overdosed on drugs. Me? I get my drugs the legal way. I follow my doctor’s orders. I do deal with my depression but I also know that when I want to die it’s pain. Pain people like you cause. Jackass.
6.I got married. I got unmarried. You were wrong, and your statement implies everyone should be married. So you wanted me to follow socially normative behavior instead of doing what is best for me. You wanted me to find someone who could put their penis in me, regardless of my sexuality. In fact you out and out told me I could not be a bisexual because bisexuality was an illness. I love all genders equally. All. Not two. All. I am Omnisexual, Jackass. Your white heterocisgender racist able bodied male privilege is showing. Jackass.
7. I figured out before you were done trying to make me give up on life, since that was your apparent goal and you had such high expectations for me and hopes for me that you were wrong and blind to much of reality. I knew this then, when I was so drugged up I couldn’t think and can barely remember much besides you and your hateful criminal actions. I understand, you presume that I should be like my sister who IS an abuser. This must be why you said this. You don’t believe in people breaking the cycle do you, Jackass? I will not be abused nor will I abuse. My first thought with each action is about consequence. For me. For them.
8. Jackass. (I believe that says enough). In case that wasn’t clear, I cannot count the people who love me and whom I love, because the number is infinite, as I cannot count that high. Jack. Ass.
9. I am the strongest person I know, and I know many strong people. I do know that sounds prideful yet, I can only assess others by my own knowledge and for me, I am the strongest. I think I have to be as well. My strength is not physical but mental, the very thing you thought I did not have. You drug me into a fog and decide I am stupid. That’s good medical care. Yes you have an MD and the whatever it is for psychology. Oooh. You are a Jackass anyway! Maybe even more so. Instead of paying attention to your patients you let me walk around with gangrene, you let me walk around with severe and deadly allergies, and a giant tumor in my intestine and buttocks. I did not cry or scream. Even the nurses commented on this when changing my bandages, I should’ve cried out more. Does strength mean crying out? Does it mean silence? For me it is both. For you? Obviously you are a jackass so what does YOUR opinion and expectation matter Dr.Jackass?
10. Hmm… I can too. I do all the time. In fact having a caregiver is a proof of this, as I had to advocate in order to get the need met. So my body wore out because I believed you… Jackass, you are again wrong. I can care for myself and I do with each breath.
11. Error, this is invalid. By not working myself to death I am lazy in the world of the Jackass. Therefore, I have never been lazy. Jackass.
12. Funny, everything you said was in my head wasn’t. Everything you said wasn’t real was. Someone is an unqualified Jackass! Or are you overqualified in your credentials for being a jackass? I get it. Therapy is, for you, about ignoring the body completely. I remember how angry you were when I had to have not one but two surgeries under the umbrella of your care, and… yes… I did survive and still have a crappy body. It turns out NOTHING was in my head in the realm of hypochondria and every disease that I thought I may have and wanted to ask my doctor about I do. Each time you coddled the other girl with Reynauds and made me suffer, that was wrong. Then again you told me that though I had signs of being Autistic I couldn’t because I am a girl. Hah. Sexist Jackass.
13. Well, this was added on just because it speaks for itself. I sing, I write music, I write audio plays, I write stories, and I write here. Someday you may read this, wondering if this was one of your patients. The answer is yes. If you are a therapist read this and pay attention. How much of this have you done to someone? Why give up on someone and tell them? This harmed me. No one will love me, everything I am passionate about is worthless, and… the most damaging thing a therapist can do is reiterate the words of an abuser.

This was the best therapist I had had up to that point. Each one tried to stick so many labels on me and not a one, even this jackass, saw me as a person. Each one only saw flaws. Some didn’t care about my not wanting God and others required it. I faked being a Christian until I was on my own as an adult. I did this in order to escape more abuse by THERAPISTS.

I also question a profession that’s name can be split into the rapist. I question a profession that tells the victim they must abuse. I question a profession that though it an be helpful can do so much damage. I question anyone that tells any person that there is no chance something is medical. I question why someone has expectations of me at all. I don’t think people should.

I will always strive to fall short of expectations. I know some are positive but for me expectation is obligation. If I succeed and am not expected to, there is anger. If I do not succeed and am expected to, there is anger. Expectation is also the measure of success. I have no expectations of myself, I merely focus on living and being happy. My happiness is more and more common.

I am still hunting for a therapist. One that can understand that therapy itself should have a trigger warning. One that does not victim blame, one that does not set expectations.

I don’t have a life goal right now, because life IS my goal. I will not work again, for a long time, because working would probably do me in. Why is this an instant assessment of a person’s value? Why must I fit in with your expectations?

I am glad Nymph opened this door. I wish it was free of the PTSD, but nothing I do can be free of that. Maybe someday, but not this one. This is also the reason why I have felt guilt for suggesting that someone finds a therapist. Yet, the good therapists are the ones who help people. It’s a shame they are so rare.

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.

Medicalization of Humanity

I have spent my life being a patient. Most people do to an extent but a lot of non disabled people do not wind up in a doctor’s office monthly. Those that do are usually seeing a psychologist. I have been talking to my biological mother again, because she needs my help. In exchange for helping her with training her dog to be a Service Dog I asked for payment in therapy. Not literally, but, figuratively.

I think she was startled but, I am wounded emotionally. I am so angry at her, and I need to forgive her. I can’t do that without working out some of the issues and I want a mother. Some of the things that have angered me include over medicalization of my emotions. Being human has never been an option for me, despite the obvious inability to escape it.

From reading my blog you know already I have a history of abuse and chronic illness. You might have also noted an undercurrent of loathing for labels, though I am working to embrace mine. Some labels cannot be avoided. After becoming an adult I went and paid for a psychoanalyst to evaluate me. I wanted to know if, without my mother’s influencing them with her fears, I was really as insane as everyone told me.

I did this because I didn’t feel crazy. I felt depressed, but, not crazy. I did not think I was becoming a sociopath like my father. I put effort into fighting that, and won. What I did, to help prevent influence in this doctor’s office by my past was withhold information. It took several calls to find a doctor willing to work with zero patient history, but, the woman who did the test with me understood my need to find the truth.

In my childhood I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar, Depression, and a slew of other labels that never quite fit, including Multiple Personality Disorder. Most of these get renamed with each DSM, and with number V coming out (I don’t know my roman numerals and I am not looking up the translation, it is either four or five), I am again feeling pensive.

Part of it is the sudden ability to cry. For the first 23 and a half years of my life I could not cry without bleeding. I cannot seem to suppress my tears anymore. Again, some of this is because of effort though the effort sends me receding into myself at times. With that test, I was freed from the stigma of most of the labels I had received.

Those that stuck are depression, lower case because it is something that is perfectly natural considering my family history and personal history. It also is not something I will ever treat with pills again. Another is obsessive compulsive disorder. I need the world to be in order, and this comes from my past. Anything out of place could cause a beating. My disability has helped me with this. I cannot order the world, and I am healing because of it. I had no way of cleaning my room for years, it was horrible.

The test also helped hint at something else, I am Autistic. I have Aspergers. I haven’t told many people, just my Person and my mother. Now the world knows. I feared the Stigma of Autism. My best friend (All my friends are my best friends) Maxis is autistic and helped me to realize that my Autism just lets me be me. It has made things more difficult in some ways but I have adapted, and am extremely high functioning and no one can tell. My labels are not readily visible.

I also am an adult with Attention Deficit Disorder. I adapted as a child, after taking Ritalin. The Ritalin made what turns out to be a side effect of the autism, my extreme sound sensitivity, worse. I couldn’t stop screaming, all my pain was there, and of course I turned out to be allergic to it. My mother pulled me off of the drug despite my institutionalization. I recollect hearing her voice through a closed door, I was curled up in a corner in the Time Out room, being punished for not brushing my hair. My mother had come to visit and I had cried telling her how loud everything was, and hearing her tell the staff off for drugging me was the best sound out of all of them.

I am still sound sensitive. I can hear the sounds most people tune out. When a computer is turned on, each second I hear the scraping of the needle in the hard drive. it is deafening. I have five running right now, and have adapted to the cacophony of my world by adding more stimulus. I have yet to find true silence, even with a power outage but that is the best peace ever. Still, having mental distractions helps me cope.

I find it a bit ironic that being nearly deaf in one ear has not decreased my ability to be overstimulated by sound. Overloading is so far what works best. The great part about hearing everything is hearing my cats purr, when no one else can. Sometimes that sound is the best in the world. My nerves have always been just as sensitive, my skin feels too much and that can cause even the touch of William’s paw to have me crying out.

Still, in my life more damage has been done by mental health practitioners. I have been supposed to find a therapist for almost a year. First, I used the excuse of insurance, which did not cover without a copay. Then when that was fixed, I used the excuse of truth. I do not want a Therapist. I really hate them, and do not trust them. I am aware of my need now, to find one. I need someone to work with, so that I can help myself and my mother.

I remember my first Therapist. Her name was Candy, and my father upon finding this out asked if my Mother was taking us to see a stripper. He thought it was funny, I thought it meant that the doctor tore up paper. Instead, she told my mother that she could change my father. She told me and my sister, we all shared the sessions, how women must learn to cook and my bruises and burns, were just the signs that I was going to be a great wife.

I never believed her. My sister did, and when I told her at night that I thought that Candy was insane, she told me that she is a doctor, so therefore I must be wrong. I kept it to myself but at the age of four I just told her things I thought she wanted to hear. My father was sent to a mental hospital after attacking a man, or something like that a year later, and my mother did not let him back in, despite Candy telling her we would all go to hell. I think the woman let her religious tenancies effect her job.

The next therapist I saw was the one who had me put on my first Antidepressant. I was almost eight, and Doctor Baca decided I was depressed. Likely he was right but he never let me address why. He wasn’t a listener but talked about how I needed to try harder in school, how I needed to bathe more, how I needed to do things to be popular. If I got a word in edgewise he used it to shame me. I had begun to develop breasts, and upon relating the nickname I had at school, because my bra broke in Phys Ed, he agreed. I was slut shamed. The Nickname is not related here as it reveals the name that I have shed, but it contained the word whore.

The list of bad therapists goes on and on. No person is perfect but even the best amid them just wanted to label me. Many tried dangerous tactics and all of them post Doctor Baca insisted on medications. I took so many pills, and many had adverse effects including causing me to gain 100lbs in a month, but, the pills were more important than the girl. Each doctor took any crying as a sign not of emotional release but of depression. If I was happy at all it was a manic, if I was angry it meant I was psychotic. I lost touch with emotion itself.

My response was to try and kill myself, though, I couldn’t figure out how and asked my mother to help. The first time wasn’t the cause of my institutionalization, though the threat was leveled. I just didn’t comprehend it. The suicidal ideation passed and yet my brain warred to follow the rules that were leveled at it. My needs were far from met, and my Autism being undiagnosed meant I had no help. I was adrift, and lost.

The worst weekend of my childhood came then. I was beaten to the point of nearly dying, and denied medical treatment. There is much more to that story but it will not be blogged about, my fear of being attacked over it is too strong. My entire life was changed at that moment however. That is the hinge of life for me. That too, is when my personality changed the first time. The direct result of head trauma. That is the weekend where the first breaks in my back were had, my Xrays showing as an adult that when I was about eight I had four vertebrae break in my back, two in my neck. They healed well enough thankfully but I was in agony, I was alone, and I knew that I should not trust anyone ever again.

I was also threatened with food. My father had decided I was fat. I wasn’t yet, I was perfectly healthy, but he decided I should stop eating. He also instructed me to cut myself, though I did not manage that one. I did manage the eating disorder. He had told me too, if I did eat he would know and would beat my mother to death. I had to protect her. She always has needed my protection. So I gave up food. It was not hard, due to the pain.

Pain is the best appetite suppressant I know of. It kills the urge to eat in me, and is the reason for many people becoming malnourished with access to food. I lied to my mother the first few days and told her I wasn’t hungry, but, then she told me my refusal to eat hurt her. If I didn’t eat she’d surely die. Catch 22. No matter my choice she would die. I decided to eat, then, I would just throw up after dinner. Then my “daddy” couldn’t kill her and she wouldn’t know so she wouldn’t die.

This worked for a while, and my stomach stopped hurting and my skin even healed from some of it’s symptoms of allergy. I was however, bulimic by the diagnostic standard. No one asked why I was bulimic at the tender age of eight. My family didn’t figure it out very quickly, but, eventually they did. I am sure I had a decline in health. My memory was very foggy, and I had begun to have bursts of rage. Perhaps this came from the head injury, the painful seizures that I had started to have, hiding everything, or the burden of the household falling to an eight year old girl. It could even be the bulimia, the overdosing of drugs by my doctors, or, all of the untreated genetic ailments.

My stepfather had begun molesting my older sister, he was too afraid of me to hurt me, so I shaved my head. We discovered then how misshapen my skull is. My skin had begun to split on my breasts, and I thought if I was a boy then I would always be safe. I was of course unaware of the stigmas that were to come, but, I thought being male would make it all better. So, I tried to cut my breasts off. I failed, and for that I am grateful now. I am not sure what the therapists told my mother about all of this, but, from my perspective no one took into account that something might be wrong physically or that the abuse took a toll.

I was taken to a hospital, dumped off, and my mind and body were invaded. I do not know why these doctors thought a physical examination was necessary my first night there, but, they gave me a complete physical, including a pap smear. There was no explanation, but, I lashed out. My first night there was spent in the padded room of solitary confinement.

Diagnosis were tossed at me like darts at a board, seeing if one could fit close enough. Most of the girls there were suicidal, all of them had been molested or raped. Each of them had been battered, and all of the children were in pain. The staff were not all kind. One of the male staff would hit me, but I never said a word. He told me if I did, he’d see to it that I did not get to see my mother ever again.

My hair is also complex. Only half of it is curly, and this is all in the under hair. I had to bathe twice a day there to pass their cleanliness challenge, because of the Hidradenitis Suppertiva causing excessive sweat. I was allergic to the shampoo and cried each time I bathed. They gave me more antidepressants.

I mentioned once, how much my body hurt to the doctors there. I was quickly learning though, that all they wanted was for me to suddenly become a normal child. I wasn’t sure what that meant but noted what the children who got to go home endured. They could not yell, they could not scream, they ate every meal but not seconds, and they were nice all the time, if the adults were looking. I began to master the system. This meant no crying, so I got even better at being a machine. I let my world fall into their system of order.

I did go home, but, I couldn’t keep up the act of perfection. So, the cycle hit over and over again. I still couldn’t eat but was gaining weight. I was shamed for it. I was stuck then in either my mother’s clothes or sweat pants. Time passed and I was a teenager. My first period came on the eve of another hospitalization. I thought I was dying. The inability for people to discuss this function without clinical talk or shame had cost me knowing that this was going to happen. It didn’t help that my mother had told me all about how evil my Uncle Verne is. Verne is a rapist, a pedophile, and of course he would surely be out to get my mother’s children.

She had me stay with my grandmother while she made arrangements to have her crazy and devalued daughter locked away. My uncle called. Grandma had left me alone, despite my mother’s very valid fear that I would kill myself. I was considering it staring into her medicine cabinet when the phone rang. This was before caller ID hit that small town. I thought it was my mother. I thought maybe she had realized that the kids at school were mean, my hands hurt, and so did my stomach and I just couldn’t live like that. It was a strange voice. His voice was raspy, cold, and hearing me he sounded suddenly excited. I talked with him for a while, until I realized who he was. We didn’t trade names but when he called me by mine, I asked if he was my uncle.

There it was again, that duality, I was told by my mother that upon pain being dealt my way, I must never be rude on the phone. I was also told I must never let my uncle know where we were, who we were or to hurt me. I was terrified. Then, I felt warmth running down my legs. I remember what I said, “I am sorry Mr. Uncle Verne, I have to go now. I will tell my Grandma you called.” I hung up and went and sat in the tub crying because I was bleeding.

I thought that I was going to die, which, saved me from my suicidal thoughts. It was partly there because so often I was asked if I wanted to die. The idea wasn’t original to me, though I may have wound up having it anyway. I am not blaming the doctors, as without them I still would have died, I am merely questioning their methods. For every emotion there was a label, a drug, and a punishment.

For my fear of my period I was told I was a misogynist. I hadn’t even known what that was, but, upon being told I hate women, I thought it apt. At that time I wasn’t aware that self hatred is not the same, and the over labeling and medicalization was helping me to dehumanize. I was instead a child trying to make people love me. At this time my memories of my Sensei had been suppressed, and yet the mark of them remained, I was subconsciously seeking that same love.

The rest if my timeline, up until the Ranch, mentioned in earlier posts, is a blur, a mix of self hatred, cruelty, and a few bright moments when I went off the medication without telling people. Not all of my memories were destroyed by the meds, and the medicine did help me learn to control my flashbacks. I was so lonely however, unable to make contact with myself, isolated, and then something amazing happened. My freshman year of Highschool, I became the Valentines Princess. In my school this was on par with the popularity contests of Home Coming Queen or Princess and Prom Queen. My classmates elected me, and openly made this truth known, because of the simple fact that the most popular girl in school was pregnant and did not know who the father was. The pregnancy was not the issue, many other girls were pregnant too, it was the culture of this town. If you were not sexually active you were not acceptable. It was that she had cheated. Perhaps it was a form of slut shaming, but I was only aware of the fact that I had won. I had been chosen to represent the beauty of my class, a symbol of the perfection of love.

These memories are so crisp, as is the memory of my sudden happiness ending, realizing I had to tell my mother that I had won and needed a dress. There was no way I could take the title. I went to tell the coordinator, another student in my class and she found me first. She had already talked to the other wealthy students, and they were going to pool their allowances to buy me a dress, a trip to the salon to style my hair and they were going to have my hair done. They also were going to give me a free ticket to the Dance. At this point, my mother had left my Step Father, and money was so tight we could barely afford food. When I told her however, I expected anger and was given joy. She was happy for me.

We went through the rituals of beauty, I even shaved my legs, ignoring the pain that caused. We had my hair done, and, when I walked out with my Tiara in place, taking the arm of the boy I thought was the most handsome in school, ignoring his displeasure at being my escort, I stared out at the people in my school and was given a moment of joy. No one booed. I had expected that, after all every day I was on the outside. I kept the roses the principle bought each of the Valentines Court members for years, only shedding them when I no longer needed the reminder of my value, for I am worth more than roses and a popularity contest.

When I told my therapist about the feelings I had had, he told me I was becoming a narcissist. He berated me for every single feeling, and I went back on the meds. I was so certain he was right, and that my mother was too. The messages given to me during these visits to the psychologist were all so negative. Tomorrow I am calling and making appointments again. I am an adult now, perhaps, this will free me from some of the pain I feel. Perhaps I will find one who is willing to work with me on how to emotionally survive my physical pain. If I am offered medication my first visit, I will not return to that doctor.

I am still fighting for my humanity. I grew up meeting and failing expectations, never making my own. I am an adult now, and my own expectations are met. Yet when I cry, even at the end of a sad movie, I question, evaluate, and judge myself. My crying is the hardest, it is the most difficult for me to allow. I have come to embrace Happiness, anger, jealousy, but sorrow is the biggest terror. Even in the media we face the words of stigma. Pharmaceutical companies, doctors ignoring the validity of emotion, deranged fathers, and depressed mothers (Feel free to rearrange, relabel, or adjust these two for your own needs) all collude against humanity.

This is not the only way that people are dehumanized just one example of it. There is something in the air, something in the water, or perhaps just a tradition diluted with time that has caused dehumanization to become far too common. Civil Rights are torn away from people based on their supposed inhumanity, the disabled are not granted access because we surely aren’t human. I tried so very hard to shed my humanity, yet without it I cannot sing, I cannot write, and I cannot breathe.

I am afraid of psychologists. What if they refuse to not try and force me to take drugs? What if it turns out in the future I was wrong and needed the antidepressants? The consequences of these choices are the real fear. I fear too, that my next psychologist will refuse to see my pain as real. The wheelchair is not enough for some people, or it is too much. I will be writing a how to article on shopping for psychologists, after I am done, detailing my method. I will share it here.

The Rape of Innocence (Trigger Warning)

Literal. I lost my innocence, as defined as physical virginity to my father. It was rape. It was never consensual. Incest is bad. Typing these words is extremely difficult but my day has already been one full of tears, therefore, I am going to go with it. His excuse for rape, his reasoning that made it A-Okay to violate, subjugate, and to hurt me sexually was this. “You look just like my mother.” I was four years old. Today I was triggered. This isn’t an easy thing to admit, and I feel uneasy each time I come across things that remind me of him, and at times my PTSD is triggered by a harmful thing. Today I was already in a bad way due to pain, some of it is residual effects of my abusive childhood.

Some of it comes from feeling violated at having to see another doctor, since my service animal makes me unworthy of another. Some of it comes from this post on Feministing.com. I do not care that this game came from Japan originally. That does not make it better. I do not care that their society has a history of subjugating women, so surely all of their rape fetish bull is perfectly acceptable. Not to me. I want to reach out to the women of the world, for an uprising. It is in this moment that I state I am a feminist, in the definition that states I am pro women’s rights and equality, I am pro disabled equality, and I am pro mental health equality. I want to be healthy, I do not want to feel the edges of Victim burning at me again and again when I skim the internet, go outside, or even sometimes when I try and think of a happy moment. It is always there.

I am not the cause of my own rape. How can I be at fault for it? Yet games like this propagate the victim is at fault mentality. I remember when I turned my neighbor in. He was molesting me during the same period when my father decided to rape his mother allegory. I remember being asked by the prosecutor, at the age of five, if I wore short skirts to turn boys on. I didn’t even know what that meant. I remember, however, the after effects. I rejected my body, myself, and I tried to become a boy.

This attempt at maleness included trying to cut off my breasts when I was thirteen, shaving my head repeatedly (and discovering that my head is very lumpy) as well as rejecting my identity. I could not be Rebekah. I had to change my name. I did, as an adult. I found a name that fill sme with the sensation of security, health, and the desire to be happy. I do not cringe when I hear my name anymore. I never out grew the after effects of being raped. I was repeatedly assaulted through my life, and this was also used to overshadow real medical problems.

When I was eight years old my mother and father sent me away for hypochondria and Bulimia. It took adult hood to realize I never was bulimic. I also have a great deal wrong with me, and none of it is in my head, except what neglect and trauma put there.  All of my current illhealth cannot be attributed to the childhood neglect, but, a majority can. I am an advocate for anyone who needs it because there is so much to choose from. How do I choose between mothers and their need for proper nutrition, childhood health awareness, Celiac Awareness, Rape is Bad Mkay awareness, and the awareness that as a wheelchair user I need a door that is wide enough for me to not scrape through.

I am in tears today from pain, physical and emotional.  I am a woman. I am 24 years ago and it has been 11 years since my father last raped me. I have since seen him and he cowers with fear, he actually pissed himself when he saw me using a walker and fled in terror. I am not someone who causes fear but, I am a survivor. I was a victim and when I tried to say something, when I found out I should, I was denied that right. The district attorney felt that my case was not compelling enough because I was a mere child and had been sent away by my rapist for not being exactly what he wanted. I was denied justice, and I know my assailant is out there.

Knowing he is afraid of me doesn’t take away from being afraid of him. It does not take away from the sensation of the little hope I had being crushed because I wasn’t worthy of the time to take a bad guy off the streets. It doesn’t make it alright.

I hope whoever reads this finds either peace, awareness, and the understanding that if they themselves are a survivor of rape, abuse, or anything at all, that they are worthy. I understand as an adult why so few women report rape, when it is always the Victim’s fault. Eventually I will write more on my experiences with the mental health system as a child. I will write about my diagnosises, and the secrets that I am not sure my biological mother wants shared online. Someday she will google me and will discover that I am not the all accepting child she still perceives me as. I do not take the burdens she places upon me. I leave them behind.

I was about to submit this when I came across this in the comments on Feministing.com, another link. Amazon pulled the english version of the game, though it is still availible elsewhere. I am shaking with relief and rage. How do we protect our children when things like this pervade? What is to stop this from normalizing rape in our world? It might. It might not.

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