Disability Archive

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  • Mental Illness and a Chronic Illness

    On top of having OCD, EDNOS, BPD, and ADHD, I also have IDDM — Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.

    Basically, I’m a type 1 juvenile diabetic. And the mental health care system isn’t equipped to deal with that, so every time I go into the hospital, I come back with diabetic ketoacidosis.

    Fun.

    Coming to terms with childlessness

    I never wanted to be a mother when I was young. Seduced by the freedom I could have as a single woman, at varying levels of “being about to take care of myself” financially and psychologically, I pushed onward. When I was 19 and in college I had an abortion. The father was irresponsible and unemployed, and I wanted to graduate. I wanted to live an exciting, satisfying life and knew if I kept the child I would be doomed to poverty and single-mother-dom before I had even gotten started.

    Ramifications of Queer and Mental Illness Visibility

    While part of my identity is “Out of the Closet”, as the thrift stores I frequent so gaily proclaim, the mental health side of my identity is still partially in the closet, a monster in the closet that emerges and slides back in as I hide blog posts, switch back and forth my internet expressions, erase tweets, and deep down know that the internet knows everything forever. Spokeo owns me and it owns you.

    New Experiences

    A few months ago, I saw someone who was not there. I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a woman with long hair and a long dress leaning over the bed. She was not frightening or threatening in any way. I gradually realized that I was seeing her features more clearly than I should be able to, given how dark the room was. Then she faded away. I am as certain that I was awake then as I am ever certain that I am awake.

    From Teargas to Twitter: How I Disengaged from Activism

    At nineteen I traveled from Portland to Seattle with friends for the World Trade Organization protests that became known as the WTO Riots or the Battle of Seattle. I was tear-gassed and ran from rubber bullets, fleeing the police across barricaded city streets. I enjoyed the sense of danger, thinking little of the fact that I was narrowly escaping arrest every time I left an intersection at “one” when the National Guard announced they were moving in on a count of three. I was a teenager, my friends were anarchists, and my perspective was different then.

    How to be an Ally to Disabled & Neurodiverse Folks in Activist & Academic Communities

    This is based on my own experience as a Disabled, Trans, Queer, Autistic activist. In compiling this list, I consulted other Disabled activists as well. Most activism I’ve been involved with has taken place in Queer, Radical, & Academic communities. I’ve been both a grass-roots activist and a student activist. I do not claim to speak on behalf of Neurodiverse or Disabled folks–or any group for that matter. Here are a few ideas I’ve compiled on how to be a better Ally to folks who have been left out of social and political movements/communities:

    Thoughts on My Asexuality

    It wasn’t until later on in high school that I figured out the truth. At that point, the only partners I’ve had were ones where a third party set me up with them, so I played along. I learned about asexuality online. I connected the dots and realized that I was asexual, rather than straight. This did not seem earth-shattering when I discovered it.

    Shaming my Food Stamps: EBT and SSDI

    I grew up a white, middle-class, cisgendered, femme bisexual. These are the labels and privilege that I am willing to claim. When I reached 33 and went on SSDI, I went on food stamps. The transformation from Daddy’s Girl who just had to get another temp job to actual psychotic starving schizophrenic who had to take anti-anxiety medication to take out the trash was a process but has landed here. With me, today. Taking a handful of pills so that I can be brave enough to go use my EBT.

    Hyperacusis: the Shade Garden

    the problem is there is no ethical answer.

    one hello­­––from a stranger
    : a cannon shot.

    how are you––from a friend
    : a packed audience
    in a 360 degree stadium,
    looking at me with a magnifying glass,
    an echo chamber
    hung on my reply.