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How dare you

Anyone who knows me at all knows I’m pretty obsessed with Marvel. I have an impressive amount of Avenger T-shirts. I have  multiple action figures of Marvel stuff. I was proudly #teamcap for Captain America: Civil War and went to the movie wearing my BB8!Cap shirt and Hulkette, my stuffed Hulk bear from build-a-bear. So, to say I love Marvel would be an understatement.

Which is why the news this past week has completely shaken me up. At first, my response was “Oh, it’s Marvel, nothing is forever, right?” But then I thought more about it. And then it got worse and worse. You see, they turned Steve Rogers into someone who was a Hydra spy all along. Which, so much nope. There is no way, Marvel, you can make this right. There is no way you can make this better.

Cap is the one who told the world “No, you move.” Cap is the one who gave the proverbial middle finger to the government. Cap is a figure of safety, of security, of idealistic Americana. Cap is the hero who fought for the underdog.

How dare you, Marvel. How dare you take a character that punched Hitler in the face and turn him into this. For context, it was an INCREDIBLY risky move. The gravity of how awful Hitler wasn’t as well known. This was a world before social media. This was a big fucking deal.

How dare you, Marvel. How dare you take the Jewish and non-Jewish lives that were slaughtered and turn them into a marking ploy. As someone who was born disabled, I would be one of the ones among the dead.

How dare you, Marvel, set it up so parents have to explain to their children why they can no longer read Captain America. That the guy who stood for everything they stood for is actually a bad guy. My knee jerk reaction is “I love Cap, how can he be evil!?” But it’s so much more than that.

To everyone who says we’re overreacting, check your privilege. If you were born in the time era where the story initially took place, would you have been among the dead? Would the ones you love most me killed? Many of my closest friends are Jewish, Disabled, LGBT, and more. We would all be dead. Cap was someone who fought for us. Cap was someone who we looked up to. I mean, part of the reason I have so much Cap stuff is because I have PTSD and it helps me feel safe. And now, that has been taken away from me.

Marvel, I’m not the one who needs to change her prospective.  I’m not the one who needs to lighten up. You did this just to shock people. Do you realize the damage you’ve done? Do you realize that there is no turning back? Do you realize that you’ve completely alienated  a large portion of your reader base? Because how dare you to this..

And I will not shut up.

 

Because you know why?

 

No. YOU move.  

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Living la vida PTSD

Trigger warnings for childhood abuse and PTSD. As well as self injury.

Sometimes, I go back to my old Livejournal. And sometimes, I find things that take my breath away. Like this, which I wrote all the way back in 2009. Which feels like forever ago.

“make it stop make it stop make it stop
someone. anyone. i can’t take this anymore.
i can’t take it.
it’s too much. it’s too much. it won’t end.
it’s a nightmare when i sleep. it’s a nightmare when i’m awake.
it won’t end. my thoughts are consumed when i’m awake
and there’s no end in sight to this. it won’t go away.
it just won’t go away.
it won’t end.
i’m not safe. i’m not protected.
they won’t go away. and there are some times when the memories get so intense
so real. so tangible. so close. so present
that it’s like i’m living the hell all over again.
and other times (sometimes these times overlap)
it’s like i leave my body, i leave myself, i’m not real
but i’m just watching eveything happen again.
it’s all happening again. and there’s no comfort.
there’s no end. there’s no way to make it stop.
which, of course, why should it stop? why should it end?
i deserve it. i deserve every nanosecond of it.
i don’t deserve to be free from this anguish
even though i want to be free. i want out. i want it to go away.
i want to cry, to scream, to push it all away
but it’s not okay to show that amount of emotion
it’s not okay to let it out. i don’t even know if it’s okay to write it out.
i just want a break from these thoughts. memories. nightmares. daymares.
would cutting stop them? it has before. and it’s to the point where even though
even though i know that it’s just a quick fix, a short-term solution
a momentary trip to nirvana
it would be enough. just for a rest. just for a break. just to make it all end.
even just for a few seconds. nanoseconds, even. just a break.
it’s all i ask. even though i don’t deserve it
i don’t deserve a break but i did deserve what happened.
so maybe i’ll just live in this torment forever.
and never be free. that’s surely how it’s looking right about now.
and maybe i just won’t eat for awhile. maybe if i’m empty inside
maybe if i’m not putting anything inside of me
then maybe, just maybe, it will ease. i’m willing to try anything
at this point. i just can’t keep going with this and i don’t know
what else to do.”

 This was written seven years ago in a private live journal post. And this is the first time I’ve let anyone else see it. And I’m Fucking terrified. I’m afraid people will judge me. That people will say the abuse was my fault – and maybe they’re correct. Maybe it is all my fault. Maybe I should have been a better daughter. 

I try to word these things out loud and I can’t. They’re trapped inside me. It’s like when you have a cassette tape and the brown tape part gets all tangled so it can’t play (gods I just aged myself and I bet there are readers who don’t know what a cassette is). I hate to admit I still blame myself. I hate to admit that I think these things. But it’s true and I do. And I wonder if other CSA survivors think these things. I wonder if other people have these same thoughts. 

Or if once again, I’m alone. 

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After someone changes their name

After someone changes their name, there’s a few things you should not do. Super Nora to the rescue!

  1. Do not ask why they changed their name. Their reasons were likely difficult or personal. It could be as simple as “I didn’t like my old name” or it could be more complex as they have transitioned, they are escaping an abusive situation, etc. If they offer up a reason, great! But if they don’t offer, it’s none of your business. 
  2. Do not ask them what their name was. See above. This could endanger their career and lives, and frankly, it’s none of your business. 
  3. If you knew them before or you know their old name, don’t call them by the old name. The old name may bring pain. It may be a power trip for you. It may bring back painful memories. Name changing isn’t easy and isn’t come across flippantly. Respect their choice and call them their new name.
  4. For god’s sake, don’t ask “But how do your parents feel?” Well, in my case, that wasn’t something I needed to take into consideration. I never liked my name. Changing it freed me and gave me something about myself I like. So don’t ask about them.

Basically, just call them by the NAME THEY GIVE YOU and keep your opinions to yourself.

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You’re the part of my life that I’ll always remember

Image is a black and a white picture. A pigtailed female is holding her golden brown tabby in her arms. They are nuzzling each other’s faces.

 

Three years ago today I brought you home.

Three years ago today you joined my family.

Three years ago I held you for the first time. And you chose me.

You have me wrapped around your little paw. It was love at first sight.

I love you, Athena.

I love your meows. Your cries. Your purrs.

Your snuggles. How the second I walk in the front door, you mrow at me and fling yourself at me for attention.

You’re my fuzzbutt.

My flufferbutt.

My whinypants.

And I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Image is the very first picture of me and Athena, taken in the shelter when I held her for the first time. Image is of a pale female wearing a Pikachu hat and an orange sweatshirt holding a golden brown tabby cat.

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Exciting Announcement!

I am starting to work on a memoir. I’ll be compiling pieces from my blog posts and whatnot. It’ll focus on being autistic, grief, and accepting my disabilities. It’s going to be dedicated to my friends who have died because they’ve made such an impact on my life. I only hope the list doesn’t grow before it is published. I am hoping to have it published by my 30th birthday – in June of 2017. That sounds super soon and I only have a year and a half, so I better get my ass cracking!

Image
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In which functioning levels are complete and utter donkey dung 

 

image description: a pale brinette female. she is wearing a pink Super Grover t-shirt and smiling sleepily at the camera


Ah, functioning levels. The cause of Internet flame wars, mad mommy rants, and advocate headaches everywhere. They’re so controversial. Some people cling to them and others (like myself) want to throw them into a corn grinder. I’m not going to talk about the people who find them useful, because I find them ableist and problematic. But I will talk about why I have a problem with them. 

As you can see by my picture up there, I look 100% normal. But you cannot tell what my functioning is that day. The problem with functioning levels is that it makes autism way too black and white. It allows for no wiggle room. In this picture, I am relaxed. I am functioning at baseline. I am able to speak, I am able to ground myself, and I am able to write. I may fall into some of my habits, but I am still doing well for all intents and purposes. 

But if I took the exact same picture on a different day, my functioning could be completely different. I could be mute. Not by choice, but because all my words are trapped inside me. I could be completely unable to deal with people and carry out the most basic of social interactions. 

And that is my beef with functioning labels. One day I may be mild and so called high functioning. But yet, due to my lack of executive functioning I’ve had terrifying things happen. I’ve melted a blender. I’ve set fires. I’ve broken a coffee pot and didn’t even realise that there was glass everywhere. I’ve not eaten because I haven’t been able to function enough to do it.

I have been told “you are not like my child. You are so high functioning.” But some days, I am like your child. I melt down. I stim. I cry. I lose my words. Some days I am your child – I have the same thoughts and feelings. Functioning is fluid. Being autistic is not. 

I function enough to live on my own, so I’m deemed high functioning. Even though my sensory orders are so severe I find physical touch painful all the time (which is called allodynia and I find it fun to say). Even though I can’t be in public without stimming. Even though I’m physically incapable of leaving my apartment and my autism difficulties are part of the reason I dropped out of college. 

I am autistic. I am not high functioning. I am not low functioning. I am autistic, because that’s the way my brain is wired. And there’s nothing right or wrong about that. 

I choose not to use functioning levels. They demean me. They are ableist, because they imply that I can or cannot do certain things just because I’m on a spectrum. Even though some of my problems are so severe I require in home care, I’m still happy and proud to be who I am. As I’ve accepted being autistic, I’ve become more confident and bold in my personality. I feel I’ve blossomed and grown as a person by simply embracing it. 

Even when I’m mute. 

Even when I’m scared. 

Even when I’m overwhelmed. 

It’s all okay, and I am still simply autistic.