Suicide Hotline 800-273-TALK (8255).
Suicide Hotline 800-273-TALK (8255).
Primarily this page deals with a gamut of problem areas in life, some of the many heavy loads many are trying to work through, and affording a space for their struggle while allowing the rest of us to expand our empathy. New broadening understanding of others’ situations can help us feel for others (and in some cases for ourselves).
HOORAY! A SITE WHERE I CAN POST ANYTHING!
Photo credits: newpaper http://nixie04.deviantart.com/art/Gargoyle-Statue-101989908 ACTV23
Author Archives: luckyotter
I’m Still Alive from the Mental Chronicles – In 2013–Still Alive?
…just for the record. I’ve been gone from this site for quite a long while, and to be honest, I don’t know why. No excuse about being busy. There were some instances when I would have had the time to write.
To be honest, I’ve mostly been thinking. The end of the month I’ll go back to campus for another two semesters of classes, which I enjoy, but this was supposed to be a break and it has turned into me just feeling numb.
I wish I could just focus on things that are going right in my life, but I can’t. I quit going to my psychiatrist several months ago, and I got the letter fairly recently warning me to schedule an appointment or be discharged. Followed by the letter officially stating that I have been discharged from psychiatric care at this place. I had just held that letter and stared at it, and thought about how I had been doing well for a while after leaving. Then I thought about how I refuse to go back to medication because I never want to deal with side effects again.
I had thought studying psychology would be good for me. I thought maybe it would help me understand myself, and maybe people in general.
I’m beginning to think nothing can help me. A lot has to do with my understanding of the world. The world is a terrible place because of humans and humans are terrible because of human nature. There is no refuge in religion because I see through most established religions. Why would I believe there is a god when all I see in news is foreign genocides and political assassinations and six years old rape victims? Or, if there is a god, why would I want to worship something that could end misery but allows genocides and assassinations and the rape of six-year-olds?
Then I wonder if I am facing the true shape of things or if I am disillusioned. To be honest, I want so badly to be wrong. But I can’t make myself believe that it’s true.
The state of the world so deeply bothers me, and yet I feel there’s nothing I can do. No one can clean all the world’s filth, and if someone did, it would just re-accumulate–because that’s how people are.
I’ve heard often the counter-argument, of course, that if you can make a difference to even one person, that’s a huge deal in that person’s life and that’s one less person suffering. I just can’t see it that way. No, I do not just turn my head, I do try to help. But in my head, it makes no difference. Yes, I helped the homeless woman on the corner. But who is there to help the man being dismembered or the child soldier or the bullied student or the woman being brutally raped in some guy’s basement?
There is no one to help them, and they will suffer.
And there is no end and no cure because we would be our own shot at salvation but we are too busy being the devil to care.
I just find it difficult to deal with and I tend to think maybe, maybe it is a trend going downward and maybe someday our world will become too heavy from the weight of its crimes and it will all fall down and collapse in on itself, and maybe that is the outcome humanity deserves.
All of this is condensed in this frustrating nebula that lives in the back of my head and taints nearly everything I think and do with meaninglessness.
I apologize for my first recent entry being so rant-like and dark, it’s just that this is what I’ve been thinking about.
I just don’t know.
RUBIO ON ABORTIONS
By Brian Freeman | Sunday, 07 Aug 2016 07:17 PM Newsmax
A pregnant woman with Zika should not have the right to an abortion, despite concerns about severe birth defects resulting from the virus, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told Politico.
Admitting that it is a difficult question, Rubio said that “if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life … [because] all human life is worthy of protection of our laws.”
Throughout his political career, Rubio has been consistent on the issue, stating during his failed presidential campaign, for example, that he was opposed to abortion in cases of rape or incest.
Florida has been the state hardest hit with the Zika virus, which has alarmed health experts because it can cause severe microcephaly, among other birth defects. CBS News reports that the virus has been transmitted locally in Florida, unlike in other states affected by the virus.
Attempts to combat the virus have stalled due to political infighting, as Congress in June voted down a Zika relief bill. Part of the reason the legislation did not pass was a dispute over abortion restrictions and other so-called “poison pill” clauses inserted by Republicans.
Breaking News at Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Rubio-Zika-abortion/2016/08/07/id/742503/#ixzz4GmBqOZRg
New York Times reporters have spent over a year covering Donald J. Trump’s rallies, witnessing so many provocations and heated confrontations at them that the cumulative effect can be numbing: A sharp sting that quickly dulls from repetition. But what struck us was the frequency with which some Trump supporters use coarse, vitriolic, even violent language — in the epithets they shout and chant, the signs they carry, the T-shirts they wear — a pattern not seen in connection with any other recent political candidate, in any party.
(Excerpted from http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/will-enough-voters-realize-theyve-been-conned-trump-election-november?akid=14520.30489.eXI9r4&rd=1&src=newsletter1061655&t=3)
I’d like to share the following post with you. Go to
HIGH CONFLICT CO-PARENTING: WHEN A TOXIC EX-SPOUSE ALIENATES YOUR CHILDREN
GO TO https://otvmagazine.com/2017/05/14/my-mothers-stroke/ and read.
I see no escape
From this sorrow
As it carries a weight
In the moment I wake
And lingers through
Light it Red for Dyslexia
My Red Letter Dyslexia Awareness
Light it Red for Dyslexia is a Volunteer initiative to light significant monuments and landmarks across Australia in red for Dyslexia Awareness. After an amazing inaugural Australian “Light it Red for Dyslexia” 2015, the combined state and national dyslexia support groups are proud to be working on preparations for this year’s event on the 15th of October 2016.
The idea of lighting monuments red for dyslexia is a form of empowerment. Many dyslexic learners have been crushed by the slice of a teacher’s red pen across work they have poured their hearts and souls into. “Light it Red for Dyslexia” is an opportunity to take back the colour red and transform it from a colour of captivity to a symbol of power and awareness….for more visit https://hummingbirdredemption.com/ by Raphaela99
Trump’s biggest promise is to bring the jobs back. I wonder what all of those fooled people would think if they knew where most of the jobs really went.
88 percent of the lost jobs in manufacturing did not go to China, Mexico, or another 3rd world country.
The factories are still here. Those jobs were replaced with automation, robots. Only 13 percent of the jobs that were lost went to countries like China and Mexico and now even those countries are automating jobs.
“Research last year found that trade accounted for just 13 percent of America’s lost factory jobs. The vast majority of the lost jobs — 88 percent — were taken by robots and other homegrown factors that reduce factories’ need for human labor.”
America has the 2nd largest manufacturing sector in the world and a couple of years ago it was #1.
What’s Wrong with This Picture?
I met some corporations and
because I had a hunch they had
all been adjudged “persons,”
I invited one to lunch.
Oh, that naughty corporation!
As far as I could see,
it had not been taught its manners—
I got no R, S, V nor P.
But since I was the hostess
I had duties to perform,
though this corporation person
was so outside the norm
that making up the place cards
put my thinking to the test—
could I just write General
and forget about the rest?
And since Incorporated is so very long,
tell me what you think—
would it be uncouth of me
if all I wrote was Inc.?
Then, again, there’s gender
to complicate my tale.
Is corporation female
or is corporation male?
Somehow it seems that neither
is appropriate or will fit.
But it goes against my training
to call a person “It.”
Well, I had invited it
so I assigned it to a seat.
Now I had a problem—
What do corporations eat?
Was it carnivorous or vegan?
Some persons can eat seafood
while other persons can’t.
There were peanuts to consider
and corn syrup issues, too.
If I fed this so-called person eggs
would it suddenly turn blue?
What a jolt at lunch time
when the corporation knocked!
When the door was opened
I was shocked, I tell you, shocked!
I’m used to thinking “person”
as my neighbor or my dad
but I was sorely disabused
of all such thoughts I might have had.
There were janitors, clerks and typists,
lawyers up to you know where,
receptionists and file clerks
and scientists to spare;
there were bricks-and-mortar buildings
from here to Timbuktu;
fleets of trucks and warehouses,
the list just grew and grew!
Shareholders by the gazillions,
ships, public and private planes,
and miles and miles of trains.
There were CEO’s and CFO’s
and all sorts of other O’s.
How this “person” would fit
my dining room
the Supreme Court only knows.
(On Writing) Excerpted from Michele at the Green Study:
This is a particular cruelty of self-awareness. You know what you don’t know. You know what you can’t do. You know what you aren’t. Perhaps it was my working class upbringing that has made me so ridiculously sensitive about being perceived as anything less than brilliant. Which is odd, as I have neverbeen described as brilliant. Maybe it’s that I decided to make a deliberate run at this writing thing. Maybe it’s because I’m scared to death that this thing I thought I would always be was a delusion and I’m going to fail so big that it will break me.
This is an epiphany of sorts. We all carry preconceived notions, prejudices and beliefs and as a friend of mine has reminded me “Just because we think it, doesn’t mean it’s true.” Truth has become a priority in my life. And like a true navel-gazer, truth must start with being honest with myself. And letting go of the idea of best and perfection and greatness. Those things were likely never within my reach.
I am a writer. I have stories to tell. I hope that someday, someone will read and enjoy them. The end.
Write your story. Screw literary punditry.
P.S. Some of the great writers seem like real wankers.
Trans Kids Not Necessarily Crazy
Gendermom on participating in the TransYouth Project study: “And as grateful as I am for this amazing study, I’m also kind of pissed off that it has to exist at all.”
Are you right? Am I wrong?
Are you wrong? Am I right?
You call my freedom immorality.
I call your freedom slavery.
Are you right? Am I wrong?
Are you wrong? Am I right?
You kneel and bow.
I am still standing.
Are you right? Am I wrong?
Are you wrong? Am I right?
You dream of an afterlife,
I live each very moment.
Are you right? Am I wrong?
Are you wrong? Am I right?
You want to change me,
I even don’t think about changing you.
Are you right? Am I wrong?
Are you wrong? Am I right?
Could you forgive me?
Could I forgive you?
Who’s right? Who’s wrong?
There is a common expression that explains what it’s like to live with PTSD. “PTSD: It’s not the person refusing to let go of the past, but the past refusing to let go of the person.”…..
Abuse and the secrets of abuse are chains. Those chains lock you to the abuser and those secrets. I don’t keep secrets. Some may think, “well what is your secret and what is another’s secret, how do you know whose to tell?” There is a very simple answer to that: I do not give anonymity to an abuser, period. So some may think, “telling his name will hurt his family or his friends or his work.” To that I say: I care more about the victims. They are trapped in chains. To keep his secret I am throwing away the key to that lock.
The truth. My truth is mine to tell. I have told it in my blog as best I can. I have revealed things about myself others could perceive as shameful, JUST to break the stigma of shame that surrounds abuse. I’ve shared my mental health status in painful details, JUST to break the stigma put on those with mental illness. I’ve also told the details of abuse I have endured in my life at the hands of many men and written their names out over and over again. I write their names because a woman will one day read this and say, “ I know David Bloomquist and he did that to me. I thought I was the only one!” Someone may read this and say, “I know Billy Banks and he did that to me. I thought I was the only one!” I know these men have families. I care about the victims that the criminal has harmed. I also care about the innocence of the families who are damaged by this criminal. I care about everyone involved. I care mostly about the truth. I think so many people forget about the victims because they are trying to protect the rest of the innocent people in the family. If we continue to think this way we will always remain silent. The victims will always be silent. There will always be someone we don’t want to hurt. By doing that, the chains tighten on those who already have been silenced and abused I recently wrote about a family member who hurt many women in my family, Ken. Ken is dead. Ken can no longer hurt anyone. Everyone Ken did hurt is bound in chains by the secrets of what he did to them. So, who am I to talk about Ken’s secret? Because it was not just his secret and it never should have been. That secret was put on me to keep. A secret that should never be put on a child or anyone for that matter. Ken went to his grave still having power over those secrets he forced everyone in my family to keep. He doesn’t deserve that power. By speaking his name I am giving a key to all of his victims so that they can be free. They don’t have to protect him anymore. They can take back their power. He doesn’t hold the key anymore.
As individuals we can choose to stay silent. Some horrors I have experienced I have never shared and I know I never will. But I can tell you the names of those who inflicted them and I have because those men don’t GET to hold the key anymore. They don’t get that power even in their graves, because their victims are still alive!
So, here is the key, I give it to each of you. We do not owe abusers anonymity. We owe them nothing. We owe ourselves and those who have been chained and alone, freedom.
Their is no fix #chronic illness #PTSD
I’ve tried in the last year to live. I’ve pushed my body and ignored the pain. I’m not on pain medication nor have I ever been on any. But I live in chronic pain. Whether it is from the muscle disease, or the trigeminal neuralgia, or the vulva dynia, or the seizures, I am in chronic pain. Certain pains I have pushed through. The Lyme disease pain in my joints that makes each key I type feel like my fingers are in a vice (no clue how to spell that), and now the Rocky Mountain Spotted fever pain where that tick bit me a month ago that feels like someone is sticking me with a needle right this moment, is very real. The bone pain from the osteoporosis, which I was told could not possibly be from that but maybe from my copper levels or iron levels being so high, doesn’t matter because my shin bones ache as do my toe joints and my hips. I am in pain.
None of those things worries me as much as the multiple chemical sensitivities. That is something that I go great lengths to avoid having a reaction from. Sometimes I get that and the PTSD with smells confused. I think while at the dentist, “ OK, I have covered the dentist chair with a sheet to avoid fabric softener or cologne,and premedicated with an antianxiety medication and an antihistamine so I will be sure no stress caused seizures,” but I forgot about the multiple chemical sensitivities. I KNOW I have this which is why our garage door has not been fixed, our house has not been painted, our back rooms have not been renovated. I know this because when my neighbor sprayed with pesticides in his yard and I unknowingly breathed it in while outside, I got very ill and had to be medically treated. I KNOW I have this so I take precautions, I avoid being in the car when it needs gas put in it, etc. While at the dentist though, for just that moment I forgot.
They were making dental impressions for my teeth and my nose started to drip. I started to drool. I thought nothing of it until my entire mouth started to burn and my tongue went numb. Fast forward and four hours later, a few blisters in my lips and the roof of my mouth feeling like it got burned by eating hot pizza, the incident had passed. It took lots of treatment, care of the dentists and lots of antihistamines.
The incident itself passed but…
It hasn’t though. That was a few days ago. I am still haunted by it. Terrified by it. Paralyzed by it. I wake up in a sweat and anxiety attack over it. BECAUSE the reality of my life is this…if my house burned down there would be not one “safe” place I could go. I was reminded of the severity of the chemical sensitivities at the dentist and now I remember and cannot forget. Every hotel room has plug ins and fragrance and cleaners and sheets that have fabric softener. When my husband was away and staying in hotel rooms it took weeks to get the smell out of his clothes and some of them I just threw away because it made my nose run to even be around them. I couldn’t even wash my clothes somewhere else because I don’t know one person who uses no fragrances in their washer and dryer. The laundry mat would be a death sentence as everyone before me would have left a residue of 3 month stay in smell. It reminds me that all of the things that NEED to be done in our house cannot be done because it would affect my health and I don’t even have a place to go for them TO be done. So I sit here knowing I have no place I could go because I am a prisoner due to this health condition.
This feeling is so vulnerable I don’t think anyone has any idea. Even writing this I wonder if anyone in the world would know what THIS, just THIS feels like. To be in pain, to have to push through it day after day, and to have this underlying chemical sensitivity which should or could be rather called “allergic reaction to todays world,” is just too much.
Today I had to get labs due to the latest tick bite that has left me in much more substantial pain. We need to see, how bad is the infection, are there more than one infection from this tick. Because ofcourse four years of treatment for the original diagnosis was NOT enough I just HAD to get another tick bite. I wore a mask so I didn’t pick up anyone else’s illness. I brought something to sit on so I didn’t pick up anyone elses lotions or perfumes. On the way home all I could think, due to my PTSD, was, “ I just need the water to be working and the electric to be working so I can shower anything off so I can get in bed and try and cope with the pain that will happen to my muscles.” I was thinking this because of the smell of perfume that got on my hand from the prescription given to me. I should just wear gloves when I’m out but…carrying a pad to sit on and wearing a mask probably freaks people out enough. If they only knew…
The world goes on. My husband has a job, a life, runs errands, comes home with the colognes of every man he encounters on him and that is just life. No amount of cognitive behavior therapy will fix that part of PTSD and if it did then my husband coming home every day for the last 22 years from his job would have fixed me.
I have unfixable things. I have untreatable things. I treat and cope with what I can. There is some of it though that is truly unbearable. It almost makes me miss the “numb years” when I was robotically going through life 25 years ago.
But here I am now. My fingers throbbing with my heartbeat after typing this, knowing it is 2am and won’t be able to fall asleep and that there are no answers to any of my health problems. There are no magical places with no chemicals and no fragrances. There are no safe places for me other than right here in my bed which is still filled with pain and suffering.
It’s why I post the pictures I do. It is my effort to still live. But I have to tell you, that is becoming increasingly difficult and life as of late has become increasingly unbearable.
Throw in the broken cars and the broken well and the broken septic tank drainfield and a sick child…I think back to the “friend” (wow I have used a lot of quotes in this) that told me that I wasn’t as sweet as I used to be all the time and that these diseases have made me angry and I think well no fucking shit! Throw in some, or rather an entire childhood of abuse, shit family, and yeah, I don’t actually mind being angry. I more mind how I feel at this moment, which is utterly defeated. And the knowledge that all the therapy in the world won’t fix this. I have no fix to any of this. Not one thing! Which leaves me vulnerable, helpless, and very very alone.
Video of windy prairie with the hawk and some sandhill cranes milling about
Field of pink :photography–Not My Secret…Overcoming The Shame Of Sexual Abuse,
Being human, being a part of society, requires all of us to give and receive from a place of empathy and understanding. You don’t have to love every person. But understanding the world in which they live, even if you disagree with the fundamental choices they make, is crucial for growth and advancement.
When we hate and fear those who are different, we make them less than human. We take away from them the basic tenets of decency. We reduce them to little more than animals, beasts to be put down and destroyed.
We do this at a cost to our souls, our own humanity. We become numb to injustice, numb to the suffering, of people we don’t know and have never met, because they aren’t like “us.” They aren’t “normal.” Whatever happened to them…they must have done something to deserve it, right? Just start with assuming that I am a human being who doesn’t mean you any harm. Start there.
Michele W. makes us aware of David F. Watson’s site. An excerpt from his site follows:
Trump, Evangelicals, and the Road Ahead
I will never support Donald Trump. In fact, I will never support Donald Trump because I’m an evangelical Christian. He mocks everything Christians should embody. He scapegoats the culturally vulnerable. He shows deep contempt for those whom he sees as different (e.g., Muslims and Mexicans). He has openly and unashamedly derided both women and ethnic minorities. He has even said that a man should treat women “like shit.” He has posed on the cover of Playboy. He consistently insults and demeans those with whom he disagrees. He has belittled Holy Communion, referring to it as drinking his “little wine” and eating his “little cracker.” Consistent with this last offense, he is flippantly dismissive of the idea that he needs to engage in any type of personal repentance.
Featured Voices: What To Expect When You’re Questioning
“Knowing all the terminology and medical facts does not a perfect transition make.” In this Featured Voices, Max walks us through the ups and downs of questioning gender identity: internal doubts, navigating hesitant doctors, imperfect…. See neutrois.me for more
The doctor had said “Down Syndrome,” but I thought
“mongoloid, mongoloid,” to keep denial at bay.
I phoned my husband from the hospital. “Come, come.”
And I remember opening my arms to receive her,
wrapping her in a cocoon of love as she slept
through the night on my belly, safe for now
from the world. My belly, my baby.
By Oliana at tracesofthesoul.wordpress.com
Researchers: Common Core and Tests Do Not Help Neediest Students
Valerie Strauss reports on an important statement signed by more than 100 education researchers, asserting that the Common Core standards will not improve the achievement of the neediest students and will not reduce the achievement gaps between haves and have nots. Furthermore, the education researchers recommended that high-stakes exams should be abandoned, because they are not reliable, valid, or fair.
“The researchers, from public and private universities in California — including Stanford University, UCLA, and the University of California Berkeley — say that the Common Core standards themselves do not accomplish what supporters said they would and that linking them to high-stakes tests actually harms students.
The brief says:
Although proponents argue that the CCSS promotes critical thinking skills and student-centered learning (instead of rote learning), research demonstrates that imposed standards, when linked with high-stakes testing, not only deprofessionalizes teaching and narrows the curriculum, but in so doing, also reduces the quality of education and student learning, engagement, and success. The impact is also on student psychological well-being: Without an understanding that the scores have not been proven to be valid or fair for determining proficiency or college readiness, students and their parents are likely to internalize failing labels with corresponding beliefs about academic potential.
More specific to California: a recent study on the effects of high-stakes testing, in particular of the CA High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE), found no positive effects on student achievement and large negative effects on graduation rates. The authors estimated that graduation rates declined by 3.6 to 4.5 percentage points as a result of the state exit-exam policy, and also found that these negative effects were “concentrated among low-achieving students, minority students, and female students.”
They don’t come with instructions, you know.
“Almost nothing”, the doctor says, “Two appliances”.
To what shall I listen now?
Better just to sit.. listen to a Tree.. how delightful..!
Carl Rivera visit https://mrcatsoe.wordpress.com/
Usefulness of a Year Zero
The Holocene Calendar, a calendar beginning at about the start of visible effects of human activity on the earth (around 12,000 years ago), is easier to use, understand and teach because it has a year Zero.
Unlike most calendars, which begin their counts at some point in the history of one particular group, the Holocene Calendar is meant to include all of humanity. It’s also alot easier to teach kids history. More importantly, having an inclusive calendar means we all learn to think of ourselves as human beings, all living in the Holocene or Human Era.
FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS
Now, my central goal is for Hypervigilant.org to be a resource for other adoptive parents who feel alone and overwhelmed. To pay forward what I’ve learned. To bring hope.
A great site to help adoptive parents meet the needs of their adopted children:
© Juansen Dizon Lonely Blue Boy 2016
Bipolar People: A Menace or an Aid to Society?
Today We Are Free
My friends. My brothers. My sisters. Today is the day we all come together in remembrance of a mental disorder that we all have stumbled upon. Today is an awareness to people who have yet to understand who we really are.
But who are we?
Are we a menace to society?
Or are we an aid to society?
That’s the question I sometimes ask myself. And the hardest philosophical question a bipolar person may ask themselves is: What is the meaning of life?
And the more we ask ourselves that question the more meaningless life becomes. That’s why some of our brothers have killed themselves by overdosing on pills. That’s why some of our sisters have killed themselves by hanging themselves inside their bedrooms. And I can’t blame them or call them selfish for killing themselves because these are the soldiers who were killed in the war. These are the soldiers who never wanted to join this war….
Bipolar disorder can only be controlled. And when it is controlled, it can be beautiful.
History shows it to be with great novelists and poets like:
- Lord Byron
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Charles Dickens
- William Faulkner
- Alan Garner
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
- John Keats
- Edgar Allan Poe
- Sara Teasdale
- Mark Twain
- Virginia Woolf
So are bipolar people a menace or an aid?
I’d like to think they’re an aid. I’d like to think they’re people who bring inspiration to the world with their creativity. I’d like to think that they’re free.
Because today, we are free.
Spring, for me, is a reflective season. It fills me with much happiness as well as a tinge of sadness. I wonder, as I see the blossoms of spring, how many more springs I will enjoy. I hear the clock ticking. There is no denying that there have been more springs in my past than there will be in my future. But I do not want to concentrate on that. I want to enjoy and celebrate life and love and joy. I want to raise my arms to the sky and say to the universe, “I am so happy to be alive.”
Humanity is always at its best
when two cultures
set aside their differences,
combine their unique individual assets,
& work towards a common goal,
like attacking a third culture
for being different.
It’s okay to say autism
When I was 15, I sat down with my mother and told her that I was a lesbian. For the next couple of years my sexuality was referred to with a look, a nod, a hand gesture or, if she had to, a whispered “you know.” We’ve come a long way but it took a long time.
When I was 23, I sat down with my mother and told her that I was autistic. She was loving and supportive but, like a lot of people, she didn’t know much about autism. Also like a lot of people, she had a negative connotation and mentioned that she wouldn’t be telling anyone. She says the word autism to me now but she hesitates each time, like she’s wondering if she should really be saying it aloud.
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states that language determines or greatly influences thought. Linguistic relativity is debated but in this instance, at least, I think it’s relevant. What does it do to a person when who they are inherently is stuttered over or not said at all?
Very few people in my life say autistic. There’s my wife, my autistic friends…end of list. My neurotypical friends don’t say it, don’t refer to it, probably don’t think about it. My in-laws are open, accepting and accommodating and even they avoid the word autism when we talk about it. I feel its absence each and every time—a black hole that threatens to suck in my self-confidence and identity.
I’m as open about autism as I’ve always been about queerness. And as with my sexuality, I only ever keep it a secret when I worry about my safety—emotionally, professionally or physically. So, a lot of people know I’m autistic: my professors, classmates, coworkers, friends, family, acquaintances. And no one says autism or autistic or disabled. Why? Why don’t they say it? “You won’t catch it if you say it,” the words I repeated so often as a teenager to my mother, pop up each time it’s ghosted over.
Is it a reflection of their thoughts—that autism is a taboo subject, something that we dare not speak its name? Is it because they disagree with the cavalier way I discuss my disability, almost like it’s a normal part of life? Is it a worry that they don’t know the terminology well enough to not offend me? Do they think it’s too serious to discuss with levity? Whatever it is, it’s determining or strongly influencing my thoughts.
Sometimes I catch myself thinking that maybe it’s too personal and I should keep it to myself. Sometimes I hesitate talking about being autistic, even to people I’m close to, because it makes me feel self-conscious. I should not feel like I can’t talk about my disability just because other people are afraid to.
Autism is a big part of who I am. Sometimes I want to talk about a new special interest and how happy it makes me or I want to laugh at how terrible I am at picking out furniture because I have bad depth perception. Sometimes I need to talk about how drained I feel because I had a meltdown recently. I can talk about these things without naming autism but that erases a larger picture of who I am. By continuing to dance around it, I’m afraid I’ll continue to internalize a wrongness connected to my identity and I refuse. I fought those feelings when I came out 13 years ago and I’ll fight them now, too.
We can talk about autism. We can say autistic. It’s not taboo, it’s an everyday part of my life. It’s not too serious or sad or tragic. You won’t offend me if your heart is in the right place. After all, I still love and talk to my mom every day and she used to wave her hand back and forth to mean gay. So, you know, there’s hope for everyone. ♥
Photo Credit: Pickled 2, 2009 by Antoine A. R. Hunt, Bermudian, 1967:in the Collection of Bermuda National Gallery.
Glass Jar World
I am afloat
no eyes, no touch
in this senseless world.
This cadaver cavernous world
dreams dissipated, despair afloat
you see me, but do not touch.
Ignored. Here, not. Not for touch.
Gasping in your fragile world,
I am no one, simply afloat,
afloat, a glass shard, in your no-touch world.
“Are you okay?” My friend asked.
I knew this crude type of emotional vertigo well. The tightness in my chest, as if my heart was about to be sucked out of my body through a straw, coupled with the sudden sensation that gravity was inadequate and no matter how hard I clawed with my fingernails and dug in with my heels I was about to slip off the face of the earth easily as a fried egg off of a greased pan.
This again. I thought I’d left this on the other side of the Atlantic. Yet here, with the hills of Lugano bursting into an early spring riot of color as my backdrop, I was about to have my first and only panic and attack since moving to Switzerland. It was the day before Easter, 2015.
It was embarrassing, really. I thought about how it must have looked from the outside. My usually relaxed and animated face tight and drawn– straining for oxygen. How blindsiding it must have been for somebody who had never seen me this way. Me, Little Miss Adventure, reacting to the cafes and cobblestones of Southern Switzerland like a petrified kitten being shoehorned from a pet carrier on a visit to the vet. I wondered for a moment if my friend felt cheated, “You thought you were day-tripping with a kick-ass go getter, turns out you’re just babysitting a neurotic sideshow.”
That’s panic and anxiety for you, the ultimate unwanted party guest– like Steve Urkel ringing the doorbell and inviting himself inside when you’re about to get busy with a hot date. “Did I do thaaaat?” anxiety asks from behind thick coke bottle glasses as it carelessly pratfalls through your life– shattering everything you thought was solid in it’s wake.
“Just stay near me until it’s over.” Was all I could manage to say flatly. Fortunately, I knew just the type of emotional first aid I needed to perform on myself at that moment, slow and steady ujai breaths, pausing at the top of each one to steady myself before embarking on the next exhale. The pause was essential. Without it the jagged fear that my breath, and everything else, may never be steady again threatened to creep in and collapse it all into hyperventilation.
Breathing. How was it that I could manage moving to another continent but I couldn’t manage breathing?
For more, visit Miss Apple Abroad.com reprinted by Michelle W.
1) Continue My Slow and Steady Study of the German Language….
2) Travel In My Own Backyard More….
3) Mindfulness Everywhere, Everyday, In Every Way
It’s time for me to finally find my yoga home in Switzerland. But it’s about more than that. It’s about creating space in my everyday life to meditate, savor the moment and care for myself. No more Manic Miss Apple! I’ll be managing my stress, eating my veggies and striving for balance both on and off the road. I pretty much have two speeds in life, Full Throttle and Under the Duvet so this intention will be the most challenging. But it’s probably the most important one. If anybody has some suggestions on creating more balance in life I’d be happy to hear them. I’ve been to yoga school, meditated in the woods, studied my Yamas and Niyamas, but inner peace is still an illusive little bugger!
May your 2016 be full of laughter, good health and lots of adventure! Big Love,
Miss Apple Posted on December 31, 2015
NARCISSISTIC ABUSE? DOMESTIC ABUSE? PTSD?
Gentle Kindness has made a series of videos on the above topics. They can be seen on her Gentle Kindness blog. Check them out. Her site is a great resource.
Excerpted from A Boy and Her Dog.com upon the death of friend Ryan Powell
Ryan had demons. He also had a fierce group of friends in his recovery groups who wanted to shelter and protect him. They came to his memorial service, devastated by his death. By the senselessness of it. Every queer person I know has demons. Every trans person I know has demons. Every time I lose a friend I lose a little hope of ever quieting mine.
I am angry because there are not enough resources, not enough recovery programs, and not enough follow through. It is so much easier to get heroin.
My demons tell me that there is something wrong with me. That I am unlovable. Grotesque. An embarrassment. My demons are the legacy of a narcissistic mother and grandmother. Of schoolyard bullying. Of being a misfit. My demons are my connection to my childhood. When I was a child I tried to be stoic, to numb it out, to withdraw, to do anything to not feel that pain. The demons know where the pain is hidden, and how to let it out.
The question is always what to do with the pain. I can talk about it in therapy. I can work it out at the gym. I can go for a walk with Gracie. I can ask Donna for a hug. I try not to stuff it down with food or drink. I never learned how to sit through the pain. Sometimes I run from it. I am still trying to find ways to live with it.
My demons tell me I’m preposterous. A self-parody. Artificial. Deluded. All of this is true. And false. My gender may be preposterous, and full of contradictions, but it is mine. It is no more ridiculous than anyone else’s. I have a right to live in it.
Bruce Springsteen Cancels His North Carolina Show
“It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.” –Bruce Springsteen cancels his 4/10/16 Greensboro, NC, show over HB2.
Visit BruceSpringsteen.net for more.
I’m a Bloody Bunyip! (You may have to bear with me for this one)
Autism and expectations https://autnot.wordpress.com
How to make an Autistic person normal.
I can hear your hackles rising from here.
It’s not a nice thought, is it? How do you change someone who functions in a different way enough that they can seem the same as everyone else,and should we?
Does this cure the person? Does this make them better? Does this treat Autism as some kind of illness instead of a lifelong condition?
I’m asking all these questions because it’s essentially what happened to me.
When I couldn’t cope with the texture of mushrooms because they made me retch, I was told we would all stay at the dinner table until my plate was clear.
So I practiced swallowing grapes whole when I was alone. If I could swallow a whole, large grape, then I could swallow a mouthful of food without chewing, without having to deal with the texture beyond the swallowing of it.
I don’t recommend this as a course of action! It’s not sensible. I was lucky not to choke. It is not a good idea, I was an idiot child trying to find my way.
I learnt very early on, that if you draw attention to things that bother you, then other children (and sometimes adults) do them more.
So when the table was laid, I would make sure to move the knives and forks and spoons of the cutlery that had had patterned metal handles. Touching them hurt me. It felt horrible. But if I asked to swap them later I would be told not to make such a fuss, doing things quietly worked better.
But I couldn’t stop people cutting their food on their plates. I couldn’t stop the sound that set off reflex hallucinations in my tastebuds and made my food taste of what I can only describe as “that flavour you get when you lick your finger, put an AA battery’s end against it, and then lick the opposite end of the battery”.
I’d press my head against my shoulder and try to muffle the noise of the worst of it, but I couldn’t block it out. If I asked people to stop sometimes they would laugh and do it more, sometimes they would try to stop. But I couldn’t predict which it would be.
I didn’t understand why they would do it when it hurts.
But I learned.
I learned people laugh at you and call you names if you’re a teen girl who likes bright colourful leggings over bodysuits and culottes (it was the 90s, insert fashion faux pas of your era here).
And although I argued it at the time, I learned that what I wear is important to other people, even if it’s not to me.
When I was alone I would have the time and space to meltdown. Sometimes at school I would hide away in the loos. Sometimes I’d hide in a book. Sometimes I’d hide in being loud and confident and opinionated.
Sometimes I’d fail to hide, and shutdown, and then I’d have to find an appropriately teen-angsty reason for it, because I knew that other people weren’t doing what I did.
I learned how to be normal.
I learned how to keep my stims private. I’d practice not moving. I’d concentrate on not doing them.
Sometimes if it got too much, I’d excuse myself so that I could find a place to be alone for a minute and stim. Like a secret smoker getting her nicotine fix behind closed doors. Because grown ups don’t do that sort of thing.
And what good has it done me? I’ve suffered from depression and exhaustion. After one particularly nasty bout of workplace bullying that was handled laughably, I had a bit of a breakdown. A counsellor said I was burnt out, and I was. I was exhausted. Utterly shattered by presenting this constant façade of normality to the world.
I still hadn’t realised I was autistic. I’d worked as a Learning Support Assistant, helping autistic teens, as one of my many jobs, and it still didn’t click. Even when they said things like, “You really get it!” I didn’t realise.
I have been battling myself for years. I have been fighting every day to present someone to the world that you will like.
And you still don’t like her! I don’t blame you. I don’t think I like her much either.
The people who like me in this world, are the people who have seen the real me. This voice. This one I’m using now.
So why did I learn to hide it, and how the hell do I let it out?
Yes. You can teach an autistic person (not all, not everyone, and never completely) to behave like everyone else, but why would you want to?
Somewhere along the way I lost me.
I knew I was here but I couldn’t find who that was. Was I Work-Rhi? Drunk-Rhi? Mum-Rhi?
It’s not that those people aren’t a part of me, but they’re a construction. They’re a wall between you and me.
What was done to me, was done in utter ignorance of what I am and what I needed. What was done was done because I was being judged by the wrong standards.
There are ways that we all have to learn to fit in. Stims that hurt you or others, need to be swapped for stims that don’t. We all make adjustments. We all grow up.
Three year olds need to learn how to express their emotions with words where possible. We all have to change and fit and adapt, but we don’t all have to fit to one mould. It’s important that we don’t.
So here’s my analogy. Day by day I cased myself in clay. I didn’t notice I was doing it. I was still walking and talking, but each day I clagged a new bit on. Small bits, big bits, all the things I learned.
At first it wasn’t too heavy, but after a while it started weighing me down, exhausting me.
But still I added more. The more I learned, the more I added.
Then one day I read an article about a woman with autism, and that article described me. It described me in great detail.
And I suddenly noticed the clay. It now covered all of me. Every part.
Since then I’ve been trying to crack it open.
Getting a diagnosis was a big step forwards and it’s let me get a hand free.
I’m still working out how much I can chip away at once and still feel safe. I’m a work in progress. A reverse-Rodin.
How do you make an autistic person normal?
You redefine normal.
The Blanket and the Rats visit Naomi Cohn
Everything’s muffled with this blanket
the color of the Sound on a rainy day.
Mice nibble under the blanket.
They chew away at me and the blanket grows
thicker and thicker…Should I go back to school?
Should I take that waitressing job?
My feet hurt just lying here.
The mice keep growing; maybe they are rats
with thick, blue-gray coats and scaly tails.
They don’t nibble, they gnaw,
What does everyone think of you,
lying there on the couch? they ask
again and again with their teeth.
We all know I’ll live out my days
washed up on my mother’s couch
and then my brothers will come
and turn me out. Already, they nibble,
Why don’t you do mom’s dishes,
mow her lawn? Why don’t
you just try a little harder?
Why don’t they gnaw on cornflake boxes
or old take-out cartons and unread mail?
Instead I shuffle through these to see
if anything new has appeared
in the fridge. It never has, just as
nothing new ever happens on TV.
The blanket gets thicker. Even the rats,
grown fat on my worries,
can’t move under the weight of it.
Three months. It’s been three months.
The third of each month is going to clang like a discordant bell for some time, I think, as a marker of time passed since June 3, when Mark died.
Hospice has written to me: “It is not uncommon for people to describe their grief as ‘getting worse’ or describe their grief as ‘stronger’ three months after the death. People often report their natural supports have begun to fade away, which may intensify any feelings of loneliness after a loss.” They ask me to call if I want to talk.
Right now, I don’t want to talk. What I want, of course, is to have Mark back. I want him to walk through the doorway and give me a hug, and I want to realize that this has all been a long bad dream, one of those dreams that make you shudder when you wake up, cold all over from the realization that in your dream state you believed the horror was real.
Last night I dreamt that I was on a wide beach struggling to run away from the ocean, but I was mired in sand and couldn’t make much headway. Behind me, I could sense massive dark waves mounting and climbing, coming my way, but I didn’t dare look back. I didn’t want to see them. I just kept pushing ahead, until I woke up.
Most days are better now, because the passage of time has started to work its inevitable magic. I’m no longer constantly surprised at the turn my life has taken. I can’t say I’m used to the changes, but I’m following this path with my eyes open, sometimes trudging with determination, but there are many intervals when I feel, well, normal—my new normal.
I’ve found comfort in the poetry of grief. These poems are not new to me, but they have a different resonance now. Rumi’s “The Guest House” urges me to be open to all the feelings that sweep through my life. Rilke’s “Pushing Through” reminds me of the universality of the experience of grief. It begins:
“It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
5 Realizations From Loving My Agender Child
Even before my children were born, I chose names that could be used for either gender. Aidan, born with a female body, was very “girly” as a young child. As early as 2 years old, we were arguing over clothing choices – Aidan wanted to wear dresses, I wanted them to wear pants. I realized I was the one who hated to wear dresses, and learned to embrace this traditionally “femme” aspect of my firstborn.
As Aidan grew into elementary school age, they discovered the practicality of pants over dresses (you can hang upside down on a jungle gym at school
jungle gym at school without anyone commenting on your underwear!). The pants and tops chosen were traditionally feminine pastels, butterflies, and flowers.
During the middle school and high school years, Aidan traded in the pastels for blue jeans and cargo pants from the “boys” section of the store. They chose more neutral colored tops from the “girls” section – we still had butterflies and flowers, they were just more “artsy.” Aidan didn’t see any value in underarm and leg shaving until 8th grade graduation. They were required to “dress up” and Aidan chose to borrow one of my few dresses. I can only guess that they were mocked for their hairy legs, because they started shaving after that day. I had mixed emotions at this point – I was immensely sad to think that my child had been the subject of mockery, so I was relieved that they took the step necessary (begin shaving legs and underarms) to avoid future mockery.
College brought a few changes. Aidan cut their hair in a short, easy to maintain style. They stopped shaving their legs and underarms, despite my continued purchasing of razors. I was always uneasy whenever we went somewhere and they were dressed in shorts and tank-tops. I did not want to be present if somebody decided to mock my child for their choices.
Aidan often commented on the fact that I shouldn’t ever expect grandchildren from them, therefore it came as no surprise when they came out as asexual. By the time they formally announced it, I had already guessed it. I was aware of the sexuality spectrum, as I have personally meandered across it over time. I was aware of the transgender community, but I still considered people as either male or female. In my mind, Aidan was a young woman, a feminist who regularly questioned and defied social norms.
In February 2015, Aidan initiated a cryptic e-mail exchange about a Mom and her daughters, that ended with “haha what a weird twist ending right.”
I didn’t fully grasp what Aidan was saying. My response at the time was a simple smiley face, because I wanted them to know I loved them:
Aidan responded shortly after with this:
i am not:
– a girl
– your oldest kid
– dad knows
– you can tell jenna [my wife]
– people in general are allowed to know but i don’t want a big announcement about it on facebook or anything (using they is fine but if i want a post saying ‘hey everyone aidan is genderqueer’ i would make it myself)
After reading this clarification, I shamelessly lied about understanding the term “agender” although I did not lie about my love for Aidan and my intention to be mindful of their wishes.
I promptly Googled the term “agender” but found very little helpful information. I still had a binary mindset when it came to gender: you were either a male or a female. Eventually I stumbled upon a Psychology Today article pointing me to a few meager sources, one of them being this blog. I contacted Micah, who gave me a list of resources, and offered a few words that stuck with me:Let me reassure you that there are plenty of non-binary trans adults living life the way they want to. It’s a process that takes time, and perhaps even more when it’s not you going through it all. Patience and understanding are perhaps the greatest gifts of support you can give.
As it turned out, I ended up not sending Micah any questions. Aidan is a very private person, but they were open to answering a lot of my questions over time.
- Do you think you’ll do hormone therapy? “Yes, but not yet.”
- What about surgery? (My thought bubble:please say no!) “No, probably not. Not a big fan of doctors/hospitals.”
- Can I use the pronoun ey since they feels grammatically awkward. “Ok.” (I soon apologized for this one and began using they/them/their as those are the phrases Aidan prefers.)
- How is your dad handling this? (Dad is progressive, but he goes to a church that has very conservative views on gender roles.) “He’s good, he loves me just the
- same.” Whew!
- How do you want me to handle pronouns when I am in conversation with others, extended family and friends who ask after you? I don’t want to “out” you without your consent. “Use your judgment, mom. If you feel like it’s someone who will understand, that’s fine; if not, just use the feminine pronouns they are used to hearing.”
Visit https://neutrois.me/ for more of this article
_________________Quest for Whirled Peasquest4peas.wordpress.com
I’m not holding the blade
I’m not making the cut
I’m not causing the wound
I’m not shedding your blood
And yet each time I turn away
and show that I don’t care,
I become the one who is
giving the knife a twist
~~It’s easy to be innocent of a crime, but guilty of a lack of compassion. That’s what I’ve been pondering for the last while, and therefore when we were given the word “twist” for the dVerse Quadrille prompt, I knew what to write about.
For what’s up with “THEM,” Email micah AT neutrois DOT me or use this handy-dandy form.
What is Neutrois, Non-Binary, Genderqueer, LGBTQIA, QUILTBAG, WTF?
Non-binary and Genderqueer are umbrella terms that refer to people whose gender is not strictly male or female. Within these umbrellas, various labels designate distinct gender identities. Each word represents a distinct identity. Think about “crayons!” as an umbrella for a type of writing instrument, then specifying the color of your crayon.Generally I describe myself as transgender or non-binary, as this is the simplest way to convey the most important part of my gender. My own particular gender experience is of neither – not male, not female – or what “neutrois” means to me. I’m Friendly! But not furry, thankfully. Although you’ve found me on the internet, I’m also a human you can talk to. For real. No contracts or hidden fees. THE FOLLOWING IS JUST A SNIPPET FROM also on Discovery’s Featured Voices…
FEATURED VOICES: GROWING UP AGENDER….About six weeks later, when Eli and I were alone in the house, Eli told me that they were agender. I was so glad they felt comfortable telling me, and asked how they knew. Eli said they had always felt that something was wrong, but they didn’t have a name for it until they came across the term non-binary in their GSA meetings. They explained that they didn’t want to waste another minute of their life being someone they weren’t. Eli was truly brave.
Still My Child
My initial and primary reaction to them coming out was a simple one: “They’re still Eli—that hasn’t changed. And they’re still here.” I had just witnessed close hand the absolute and total devastation of two couples who had lost their children to suicide, and I knew I had so many things in my life to be grateful for, including my great relationship with my fantastic kid.
Excerpted from Alexander Chee | Longreads | April 2016
OUR WELL-REGULATED MILITIA
This freedom to own guns comes with an astonishing domestic death rate annually, a death rate we would never accept if it were dealt to us from any of our so-called terrorist enemies—13,404 gun deaths in 2015 alone, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Americans are much more adept at killing Americans than the Islamic State. And yet despite the relative ease of purchasing a gun for those on the terrorist watch-list—at least 91% of those who tried were successful—the percentage of active shooters who are Muslim in the U.S. is vanishingly small: more people are killed by toddlers in the U.S. than by Muslim extremist terrorists, and yet in 2014, Florida made it illegal for doctors to ask or advise parents on gun safety in the home…..
As it stands, between the open carry laws, the number of guns owned by Americans, and with GOP delegatesreporting gettingthreats from Trump supporters, the potential for violence at the convention is unprecedented, if not inside the convention center, then in the firefights that now seem increasingly likely at the conference hotels. All of this of course only dramatizes the danger these weapons pose.
By Shay Caroline Simmons
miserable old bat’s blog https://vivnada.wordpress.com/
These two items turned up on Facebook this morning. How could anyone keep a straight face while writing and publishing them?
Donald Trump promised voters in Iowa this morning that if nominated he will serve the roasted flesh of Muslims as appetizers during the Republican national convention.
Sarah Palin claimed today, when asked in on Fox News about her support of Donald Trump and his controversial views on immigration, that Native Americans should leave America and go back to their homeland ‘Nativia’,
Two possible explanations came to me: either the US media are in a conspiracy to lie and distort the facts ─ which seems unlikely – or Donald Trump himself is a decoy candidate, deliberately acting the goat in order to deflect votes towards whoever is his rival candidate.
Is HB2 a Trojan Horse? — Excerpts:
Many people have vented their frustration and outrage about the “bathroom bill” called HB2 in North Carolina. It is so pointless since no one knows what is under someone’s clothing below the belt.But what if HB2 is a Trojan Horse? What if it was a fake front for something else?
Dan Mahoney says that the second section of the bill is what really matters: It strips localities of the power to improve working conditions. He predicts that Governor McCrory and the legislature might repeal the LBGT section and leave intact section 2, which almost no one has noticed.
The real meat of the bill is in section 2 and prohibits any local or county govt. from enacting any rules about wages or working conditions. It also re-instates Jim Crow. The LGBT part is bad but a shiny object to distract us from the real purpose of the bill. Read the bill here:http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015E2/Bills/House/PDF/H2v1.pdf – See more at:http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/dan-mahoney/blog/2016/03/nc-hb2-koch-brostrojan-horse#sthash.3gMXkLRk.dpuf
Mental Illness with a dash of crazy!!!
Some people really do spend their whole lives together.
Today my 12 year old daughter and I had to pop up to our local shopping center. It was fairly crowded, people walking towards us and on either side, continuously.
However, we were privilege to witness something truly beautiful. My daughter observed something truly extraordinary, and she brought it to my attention when I saw her turn around and look behind us and say: “Nawwwwwwwwww.”
I turned around to see what she was looking at. What I saw stopped me dead in my tracks. Frozen, in that moment. I was so lost for words, it took my breath away. I could have just cried it was so beautiful.
What we were looking at were the backs of two elderly people. A couple, both around 80-ish, shuffling along, holding hands. Not something you see every day.
The Witch’s Lament
Being a witch is not as much fun as you might think. Oh, there’s the glory of saying what you think, no matter the consequences, and the snickers when a car splashes mud all over you. But have you ever had the experience of a grandchild referring to the other grandmother as “the nice one?” None of my grandchildren call me Grandma, and I just realized it is because there’s only one “Grandma” in a child’s life, and I have been usurped on both sides.
Whether you’re a witch or not, when you age, conversation becomes impaired, and in the foggy, scrambled mess someone is sure to take offense. Take me, for instance. I got involved in writing a book and neglected my nurturing family duties, and sure enough that old specter sibling rivalry raised its head and the old witch got dumped! Barred from the hearth and heart of one child and two grandchildren, who may never know why the witch went poof up the chimney without saying goodbye. I got disowned. So let that be a lesson to all ye who relinquish the angel role in favor of the witch. Why would anyone want to do that, anyway? Just a contrarian who took her blessings for granted.
At the end of that whole segment, just before the commercial break, Chris [Matthews] asked him [Trump] if the guy who had gotten the woman who had an illegal abortion pregnant should also be punished. After hemming and hawing for a few seconds – during which Chris pointed out that ‘some would say the guy had something to do with it’, Trump said simply…
Daily Kos Classics firstname.lastname@example.org
P r i n c e
Before the media narrative of the tortured genius who abused drugs takes over the story, there needs to be a pushback. Chronic pain patients should step forward and speak of their own experiences of living with the condition, and the constant barriers that are being thrown up to treatment. The latest obsession with white kids using heroin is stigmatizing those with chronic pain.
Chronic pain kills. It killed Prince. It’s time to talk about it.
Writing, Survival, Art and Love!
I seem to have entered the next phase of my journey. I had been trying to cope with my spinal pain with minimal pain relief for several years, something I can no longer do. My MRI results showed that the remaining discs are reduced to something akin to chalk-dust and my spine is riddled with arthritis, pressing on the nerves. The pain management program has ramped up, and is necessary to keep me moving. I have had a strange sense of vulnerability as a result. Some of the medication makes me tired, and I have had to have early nights. I find it hard to remember the names of people I don’t see often, and find going to large social events trying, as I am away with the pixie’s. I want to be quiet, have rest and not have too many commitments. Sitting for long periods is agonizing and I need to move around. I have to plan everything well in advance, even the weight in the lunchbox I carry when attending excursions with my daughter. I am dreading winter as I know too well the agony that grips my frame. I have to know the time it will take to get somewhere and when I can expect to leave. If I am prolonged, it can mean a day in bed afterward. A day lost. I have left items in stores as the weight would be too much to carry. I have had to pardon myself from the table so I can move around outside. There are hundreds of examples I could give you. Things people without this damage wouldn’t think about at all. My doctor said that elderly ladies’ she knows find their spinal pain excruciating when ironing. I need to dose myself up before this task, and look on with dismay as the laundry basket fills with items needing to be ironed. I have the spine of an eighty year old, and somehow it has to keep me going for the next half of my life.
AlterNet Headlines <email@example.com> The foregoing is an excerpt from
Suicide: When Your Sorrow Feels Too Dark
You are NOT alone
[photo credit: flick user darren bertram] Sometimes, adult survivors of emotional child abuse feel a deepening sadness that grows heavier and heavier with time. The burden of it can feel too much to carry… and they may think about suicide.
So, we need to talk about suicide… and to discuss it with compassion and without judgment.
Let’s drag this howling monster from the shadows and force it to the spotlight, so we can see what it truly is and talk about finding help to battle suicidal thoughts.
Don’t be afraid to discuss this subject. The mention of the word “suicide” will not summon death. It is not an evil spell that a person can cast. Most importantly, we can weaken suicide’s seemingly overwhelming power when we discuss it and seek healthier solutions for such severe depression.
After all, suicide is a tragic death… and yet it can be preventable
View original post 1,422 more words
Above from https: hummingbird redemption.com/
“Depression isn’t a choice. It never was. It’s the smile that seems too heavy for your mouth, it’s the breath that you can’t take. Depression is hearing a voice that no one else can hear. Depression is like a shadow. It’s always there, but you can’t always see it. Depression is the forest with the giant trees and the thorny bushes. You can get out of it, but slowly and not without visible wounds. Depression is a cell that constantly gets smaller and I’ve swallowed the key of the only exit. Depression is like a tight rope around your neck, and the longer you try to fight for your life, the tighter the rope gets. Depression is like standing in front of an accelerating train and not wanting to step aside, because it seems like a relief. There are times when you fall back into the hole of depression and you feel like there’s no victory, but don’t think that you can’t go on. Like ants can carry 10 to 50 times their own body weight, you can carry the cross of depression. Fight every second of the day.” -Mugilan quoted on scarsandsilence
Is my value as a human merely based
on the colour of my carcass?
Is there no intrinsic value
in what lies beneath my pelt?
Is my hide all that matters?
Will you say that a coat of black
is worse or better than a coat
of white or brown or red?
Peak beneath my skin
and see who I really am
Let me see you for more
than your colour
or let me be flayed
for if I am no more than the
tone of my flesh,
I am merely an animal
to be hunted and
turned into leather.
Recent violence that appears to be racially motivated, and a history of marking people as “good” or “bad” based on nothing more than their exterior are the motives behind writing this piece. Usages of terms for animal skins is very deliberate, for that is what we are – animals – unless we can see each other for who we really are, and not just what we look like.
Why We Should Change How We Talk About Nonhuman Animals | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife
We wouldn’t say “it” or “that” when referring to humans, so why would we for other sentient individuals?
By Debra Merskin, Carrie P. Freeman and Alicia Graef, Independent Media Institute
6 min read
Happy has to be one of the most ironic names for an Asian elephant whose living conditions have prompted groundbreaking legal action on her behalf. Her advocates are certain that she is not happy at all and are seeking to free her from her current confines.
Happy was born in the wild but was captured as a calf in the early 1970s. She ended up at the Bronx Zoo in New York City a few years later, where she’s been ever since.
Given what we know about how physically and psychologically detrimental captivity is for elephants and how vastly different their lives are in the wild, it’s virtually impossible to draw the conclusion that Happy is content at all after enduring decades of confinement that include years of isolation.
We also know that she’s a sentient being, which means she is self-aware—in 2006 she became the first elephant ever documented to pass the “mirror self-recognition test”—and she’s the first elephant to be considered in court for legal personhood under a writ of habeas corpus.
Her lawyers at the Nonhuman Rights Project argue that Happy possesses such complex cognitive, emotional and social abilities and deserves fundamental rights to “bodily liberty” and “bodily integrity”—something we are automatically granted just by virtue of being born human.
If successful, her liberation would be a landmark step toward breaking down the legal wall that separates humans from nonhuman animals. Yet nonhuman animals still remain behind a wall of our speciesist perception, which also desperately needs to change.
Nonhuman animals value their own lives, have their own interests and experience a range of emotions similar to our own that run the gamut from joy and fear to pain, anger, sadness, stress and grief; they have their own cultures and dialects; they play, work cooperatively and use tools; they remember and plan for the future; they love, form long-lasting bonds and show empathy. The conclusion that they have rich emotional lives isn’t mere anthropomorphism; it’s backed up by research in multiple fields, including cognitive ethology, evolutionary biology and neuroscience.
Despite our growing knowledge about nonhuman animals, instead of appreciating them for their uniqueness, beauty and complexity, we’ve focused mostly on what utilitarian purposes they can serve.
Even as we advance technologically, human behavior becomes increasingly objectionable. We raise and kill a staggering number of land and aquatic animals every year for food in an inherently and systemically abusive system.
We confine nonhuman animals to prisons that are zoos and aquariums, force them to entertain us, and use them as test subjects in biomedical research, much of which is senseless, or aimed at treating chronic diseases that are a result of human consumption of animal products.
In the wild, species are disappearing at staggering rates. Scientists have warned that we’re facing a sixth mass extinction. Wild animals continue to be taken by traffickers to be killed for parts or sold in the exotic pet trade. They’re killed simply for fun, including by government agencies under the guise of “management,” while their habitats are being polluted, fragmented and destroyed by humans in the name of development.
Human disregard of the natural world and the species with whom we share it led to a global pandemic that has had a devastating impact around the world, which, worryingly, likely won’t be the last we see of deadly zoonotic diseases—even as we continue to face a very real climate crisis.
Much of the way humans treat nonhuman animals, both legal and illegal, happens behind closed doors and out of sight. It’s in the best interest of industries that exploit them for profit to keep it that way. While there is increasing awareness about the plight of nonhuman animals, far too much of the information we’re regularly exposed to about them, particularly in the media, doesn’t give a “voice to the voiceless.”
Instead, it both subtly and overtly reinforces speciesist views, especially by misrepresenting nonhuman animals and their lived experiences by referring to them as if they were inanimate objects, as it, that and which.
This misrepresentation perpetuates their objectification and fails to show humans exactly who these animals really are, and how they suffer from widespread institutionalized oppression and systemic injustices on a daily basis. This must change to reflect their existences as conscious beings—a nonhuman animal is a who, not a that. A someone, not a something.
The way we use words is indicative of how we relate to the world around us; our words represent our thoughts about others, convey the value we place on other lives and actively shape the course of our relationships and actions. Calling someone it distances us from them, rather than acknowledging our relationship with them. Dismissing someone as an it communicates a thoughtless reference, as if the it in question has no rightful place in this life or is somehow separate from our own existence; that they are less than and we are superior.
Our choice of words builds a framework that can encourage healing or cause harm. This is also visible during interactions between people where there is a lack of acknowledgment, which can prove to be devastating.
Using proper personal pronouns for nonhuman animals, or the gender-neutral they when we are unsure of their sex, would reflect the fact that they, like us, are sentient beings.
More than 80 leaders in animal advocacy and conservation have joined In Defense of Animals and Animals and Media in calling for this to be the standard recommendation in the Associated Press Stylebook to encourage dialogue about how to respect and protect nonhuman animals and their rights and interests, which would help shape a more equitable world.
If not for our hubris and denial of what it means to be an elephant, Happy could have lived her life in the wild among a multi-generational matriarchal herd, where she would have shared lifelong bonds with her mother, family members and others of her kind and enjoyed the simple act of making decisions about her life.
Instead, she is confined and alone, and while her case is being appealed, she can’t do anything about it but quietly wait day after monotonous day, either for us to acknowledge her reality and send her to an accredited sanctuary, or to simply die where she is.
While she is physically isolated, she is not alone in that billions of other nonhuman animals are waiting for us to see them too; to understand them; to overcome speciesist prejudices we hold; to end their oppression; to stop considering them renewable resources; to save their homes; to stop justifying our consumption of their bodies; to stop owning them as property; to stop using them as test subjects; to stop referring to them as things, and to acknowledge they, too, are conscious beings who have a rightful place in this world.
We are past the point of needing scientific evidence that animals are conscious beings, and it is time to update the way we talk and write about them to recognize this fact and to acknowledge that as humans, we exist as part of a whole on this Earth, not separate from it. We share this planet with a mind-blowing array of incredible, awe-inspiring, sentient nonhuman animals whose lives matter to them and who each deserve the dignity and respect of us acknowledging that and referring to them as who, not that.
“While the scientific consensus is that nonhuman animals are conscious beings—they are someone, not something—they are often described as though they might be nothing more than a couch when they’re referred to as it, that or which,” saysIn Defense of Animals, in a public petition urging the Associated Press to update their stylebook, a guide for journalists and writers, to recommend the use of personal pronouns for nonhuman animals. “Not using personal pronouns for individual nonhuman animals is especially problematic in mainstream media, which not only has a huge impact on our perception, but a responsibility to give a voice to the voiceless.”
Urge the Associated Press to update their guidebook so that it recommends the use on personal pronouns when referring to nonhuman animals.