Arrows from the Inbox

June 29, 2007 at 6:09 PM (Attitude Adjustment, Blogging) (, , )

I’ve been getting jabbed right in the inbox about the content and setup and tone, and style and subject matter here lately.

I don’t need to explain why I write the way I do.

But I think I will, just to clairfy a few things.

“Why in the *** do you always sound so self important and arrogant? Don’t you know there are other people out there? The world doesn’t revolve around you!

My only answer to this is an affirmative with the caveat: Where else do I get to *sound off* arrogantly and with a bit too much self-importance? It’s my blog, aint it?

I’m more and more aware that the world doesn’t revolve around me….

“We don’t need to hear all your sad bellyaching crap. Get over it. Who cares where you came from or if you had a husband.”

I suppose not….there are many perky, cheerful, always looking on the bright side bloggers…Go read ’em. I do.

You’re making that stuff up.”

*I* *am* *not.* More on this below…

God, you’re so angry all the time. I’m sick of it.”

You’re not the only one. If people would stop being wrongheaded, I could write about beaches, flowers, puppies, candy, flowers, and funny people.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Now, here are a few reasons I write as I do. I do not present them as “correct” or “appropriate” or “right.”

They are simply *my* reasons.

Why I have chosen to make many posts autobiographical…

Offline, strangers who only know me from here in Denver have begun to *question the veracity* of my first 36 years of life back east.

One (former) aquaintance told me how ridiculous it was to think I could have ever been married and that I *made my husband up.* She says I have to provide the marriage license before she’ll believe me. When I dig it out of a box, I plan on photocopying it and sending the copy by certified mail.

The doctors disbelieve both the Hodgkins and the CP because they know that all of my troubles are weight related. Literally. I’ve been told that I don’t really have CP and that I couldn’t possibly look as I look today and have had cancer.

Persons who never knew my family members are shrill in their anger at me, and that they think I ought to be ashamed for reporting my opinions and perceptions of their life, attitudes and behaviors.

In short, this place has to have as part of it’s raison d’etre, a record that *I did not make any of it up.* If I’m too grim and stuck in the past sometimes, I’m *much less so* than ten years ago…but I feel compelled to record these things because gradually, people who weren’t there are, in a sense, *erasing* what came before. This will be here even if my medical records, my family my school records, all dissapear or become unavailable.

If people offline heard the truth and didn’t shove their uninformed desire to disbelieve me…it would be simpler easier…

And the simple fact is that when medical issues come up for me, I sound too “Medical Model of Disability,” for some emailers comfort…

My apologies for that…I’m sure that as medical issues ebb and flow for me I’ll sound less Marcus Welby and more, “Do you realize sir that your *attitude* about my impairments holds me up more than this laundry list of conditions ever could?”

And one annoying part about this blog that I apologize about…I’m just really worn out by working…and so I haven’t been able to put the effort into the long linkfests and serious Googling about impairment issues that I could before….

I still do that when I can…

Now, back to the irregularly scheduled blogginess…

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I’ve hit that time, and glad of it

June 3, 2007 at 3:30 PM (Attitude Adjustment)

Over at Ballastexistenz,  

various persons have taken some time to decide that a mutual aquaintance  of theirs *is* a certain way, or that Amanda is a fake, or any number of other things…meant to tarnish.  Meant to make someone be percieved in a negative manner. I’m angered for her that she or her friend need to put up with that…

But when I read her post, I thought…

There’s a certain point that you hit in life.  It can’t be calculated by number of years or number of experiences.

First I’ll say that there are things about me that my offline friends or my family don’t know

Second, I’ll say that I’d handle any or all of it becoming generally known with not much of a ripple in my life.

My answer, given my Snark O’ Meter lately, would probably be

“Yes, *and* this is supposed to “bring me down,” how?

So, long and short of it, I don’t care.  It matters little to me if *the rest* of my unflattering, disputeable, debatable, not so niceness came to be known.

So, when I see the ‘net’s home of anonymous shaming…turn on someone else, I get mad for them….and I wonder why I’m not worried that a similar problem could befall me….
There are some good things about being [percieved as a] useless middle aged hag by people I meet offline.

No one gets juice out of setting you up as a target.

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Odd.

May 29, 2007 at 6:19 AM (Assumptions, Attitude Adjustment, family)

How does one go about grieving somebody who isn’t actually deceased?

I’m not going to go into detail here.

But…I have to start doing that for my maternal parent.

I have to act as though she’s gone.

Because things went down this weekend that means the only sane choice for *me* is to do that.

But I’ve never been one to eventually calm Zen-like acceptance of such things…when my husband and then my father died, it was a year long very public wrestle with what you go through when you grieve.

My life right now cannot stand up to another seismic shift of that nature…

How do I grieve someone without upsetting the boring but necessary parts of my life that have to move forward…

I’m uncharacteristically quiet today offline, and I’m usually a chatterbox…

I’m trying to figure out how to do this…

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“You did that on purpose.”

May 17, 2007 at 10:02 AM (Assumptions, Attitude Adjustment) (, )

This is one of these arguments, whether it is had right out front word for word, or is in the subtext of the way a person with impairments is treated….I keep having to “handle” such perceptions about me each year, each time I go anywhere, each time I meet up with a new group of people.

So, I figure I’ll put up a Manifesto of Sorts:

I did not have that panic attack on purpose.

I did not miraculously acquire carpal Tunnel on purpose.

I did not go to the Universe before I was born and plead for Cerebral Palsy

I did not ask for asthma on purpose.

And I most certainly did not look through a catalogue of Mental Health Conditions and say: “Oh, just look at these!  I think I’ll choose Depression as part of mild Bipolar Disorder with a whopping side of Anxiety.”

And though I’m glad to have “survived” cancer…It was certainly nothing I lined up to ask for either.

But there are attitudes or words or phrases out there, subtle or direct, directed at many of us….something in some of the able *wants* desperately to assign the label of “manipulator” to us.

It makes those who assign such labels feel superior, I suppose.

Note to the Able.

Just *****ing quit.  Stop assigning labels, get on with your own lives, and dare I say it…

Mind your own godd@mm business.

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As we speak…For Blogging Against Disablism Day 5/1/2007

April 30, 2007 at 6:23 PM (Assumptions, Attitude Adjustment, Disability Blogging) (, , , , , , , , )

As we speak or type, or sign….

First the good news…there has been what I can only call an explosion of blogs by and for and about people with disabilities and their allies in the past year…it’s tough to keep up, but fabulous to see so many. They aren’t comfortable simple, easy ‘happy happy’ stories…but they matter, and they give a glimpse into the worst and the best that happens around us, to us, and because of us, a joyful, painful, scary, wry, complex story that needs to be written. We’re writing, speaking, signing, typing all over the Internet and beyond into the mainstream media a time or two.

But, as we become more ‘visible’ the social model of disability, that theory that says that architectural barriers, as well as negative attitudes, stereotypes and prejudices about people with impairments ‘disable’ us more than physical difference ever could. rears up and gives us a new version of an old standard.

The idea that because we’re physically different, or our thought processes might be different, or our method of communication different…We shouldn’t have had an opinion, particularly about the Ashley treatment. Those who agreed with the procedure were outraged at our outrage, angry at our anger, snarky at our snark, or just plain clueless. Many spoke their mind in such a way that indicated that us *having* an opinion was so obviously riduculous and wrong that a ton of slurs came our way.

Excuse me???

We don’t *get* to have an opinion????

About *ourselves* or someone like us…What? We don’t *get* to have an opinion? We aren’t allowed to think? To question? To research? To try to explain to the able?

Why the *hell* not?

When the Ashley story broke, there was so much anger, even hate, that we would dare to wonder at what led to the decision to treat her in this way.

That almost bothered me more than the treatment itself. That it wasn’t just that the concerns of the disability community were treated as though we weren’t there…that was the old way, the pre-blogs-on-the-rise way…

The new way to “disable” our concerns was to be affronted, bitter, angry,spiteful that we *dared* to raise the questions that must be raised, if we’re to advocate for others of our tribe, the disabled, to be spared this… that we should just shut up and be quiet and be grateful that there were caregivers for us….

We’re not going to the back of the Internet.

There will be no wall built at some virtual “border” to keep us from writing.

There are no great flights of stone steps we must crawl up.

Our opinion has been hidden, limited or *missing* from discussions about medical treatment, education, employment,access, travel, architechure,institutionalization, for most of history.

It’s here now, and disagreement is expected, certainly. Examination of why we feel as we do. But not dismissal. Not abelist arrogance. (or worse condescension, the verbal equivalent of the pat on the head of a beloved pet…”That’s nice dear, now go sit back down.”)

*Listen to us!*

Before we’re gone and you can’t learn what you need to learn from us…

That there *is* *no* *normal!*

Just difference all ’round.

That we have an elegant and unique dignity all our own.

Before we and those like us are ‘perfected’ out of existence, or warehoused, or killed, or forgotten.

*Listen to us.*

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