symbols, siblings, and relationships in general

handicap symbolAt times it feels as though this symbol permeates every aspect of my life down to the minutest detail.  Because I cannot cook myself my disability dictates that I must eat either when there is someone around who can cook or when premade meals are within easy reach or purchase.  It dictates when I can see my friends and for how long because I cannot drive and the area in which I live does not have reliable public transportation.  Unless I’m driving with my sister or some other female friend who is physically capable of lifting me most of my trips are “chaperoned” because I can’t make use of restroom facilities independently.  Yes that is an embarrassing thing to admit in a public blog but people with disabilities tend to develop a very blunt way of speaking over time and that’s just the way my life is.  By the way, having a third person attend both of your proms because neither you nor your boyfriend could have gone otherwise is a little uncomfortable. Disability can impact not just the person forced to deal with it  most intimately (I refuse to use the phrase “suffer from it”) it reaches out and forces a person to completely change how they think about a myriad of things, and for the people that are closest to the person in question it’s not a temporary adjustment.

I have the best Little Sister in the world I swear.  I’m so happy that she is getting to pursue the two greatest passions in her life at the same time.She is an amazingly talented and wonderful person and the more people that know this the happier I am.  Morgan is two years younger than me and by the time she was five she had figured out how to pick seven-year-old me up and carry me a short distance.  She has been able to push my manual chair on flat ground since before she was tall enough to see over the top of it, it took her a while to graduate to navigating hills and curbs, but I think she had those mastered by the time she was ten.  People have a bad habit of talking about me as though I am an inanimate object who cannot speak, well okay maybe not inanimate because if I have ever been referred to as “it” rather than “he” or “she” (though I have been mistaken for a boy or young man on more than one occasion) I do not recall, but definitely as though I were a small child or pet incapable of independent speech.  I remember clearlymy four-year-old sister glaring indignantly at someone and saying with all the irritation a four year-old can muster, “ask her she can talk!” I never heard her say, “duh stupid” out loud to someone’s  face but I know that’s what she thought and still thinks whenever anybody does that to me nowadays, which does, unfortunately, still happen. Growing up if she had to rearrange and sometimes give up plans entirelybecause she was the only one who could stay home with me in case of emergency.  She was also the one who pointed out rather forcefully to my dad when I was 16 that I was perfectly capable of staying at home alone for a few hours and since she had a cell phone and I had been able to dial a phone since kindergarten there was no reason why they should have to stay home from a movie just because she was going to a concert with friends. I think she had been planning to go to the concert for several weeks and my parents just sprung the fact that they were going out on her at the last minute, so she was having none of it.  She is one of my quickest defenders and despite her apparent youth one of my ablest advocates.

IF I ever have children (and it’s a big if right now) I hope at some point that my firstborn child, whether it be boy or girl has the chance to have as wonderful a relationship with their younger sibling as I’ve had with mine.  I can only hope that I have influenced her life half as much as she has mine.

Birthdays and T-shirts and Keychains

I’ve been thinking about intangibles again.  My birthday’s coming up soon and once again just like at Christmas I’d give back anything given to me for a couple of hogs from a few people. The people that I have come to count among my closest friends will not be there and even though I’m almost certain to have a good birthday something will be missing without them there.What I wouldn’t give to be picked on about the fact that I make tea in a microwave instead of a kettle and actually be able to hug the person who said it. Same thing with being teased about putting sugar in tea. I know  I’m never going to win those arguments, nor do I really want to. But I wish they could be here with everything I  am, I really do. Since they can’t be here, I will wear my rise of blue and hold tight to a small big cat.

Love, Loyalty, Friendship, early a.m. vigils, cross state and overseas phone calls

Solo claddaghSo I’m once again up obscenely early. I was sick as a dog Saturday night/ Sunday morning. As well as losing every bit of food I had eaten in the past six hours I was reminded of what friendship and love really are.  Friendship is staying up with someone when they’re sick despite over 400 miles between you two and telling her you’d be there to help her clean up(which causes to her giggle and feel loved because she can think of at least 100 yucky things you’d rather do than that) and she knows without a doubt that you would. Love is still calling said girl Princess even when she feels more like the lowest scullery maid after being sick that long. By the way, love was the answering smile you couldn’t see, because she knew she’d always be your Princess no matter how sick or wore out she she ever got.

Loyalty. I scared the life out of folks a couple of people and came face to face with the kind if loyalty that appears to missing in the world nowadays.   Wake me up at 2 a.m., tell me you need me and I’ll be there, regardless of speed limit etc. loyalty.  I now now to make an overseas phone call (yay for new skills) and will eventually memorize that and a Texas area code.No, Texas did not regain independence I promise I’m talking about two different  people folks

Now to explain the ring  Since I started putting pictures in these things I thought it would br good for this considering the symbolism of the pattern. The crown is Loyalty,the hands, Friendship, the heart Love. See it does fit. I’ve had several over the years, including one with an emerald green heart (my birthstone or at least glass colored to resemble it). I’ve kept one since I was fifteen to remind me of whats really important in life. I don’t have one right now though. Lost jewelery is often a consequence  of having doll like hands and jewelers not carrying the right size to begin with. The picture is actually the one i I want to replace the last one I lost with . Yes there is a reason why I would like that one in particular

scars and changes of perception

mirrors2Okay I admit I’m writing this ridiculously early in the morning but writing when other people are asleep is nothing new for me.  I have had seven major surgeries in my life thus far and from those 11 scars most of which are still plainly noticeable, or would be if I were not wearing clothes.  As a child I hated them for no other reason then as a direct result of the surgery I move than expected to willingly put myself through the torture that is physical therapy to incrementally increase my mobility and regain the limited function which six weeks in various casts and, in the case of my back surgery, laying in a completely flat bed for a week (on my side) before they would let me sit up, had stolen from me.

As a teenager I hated them because they were just one more piece of physical proof that I was “other” something I desperately wanted to deny even though there was no way I possibly could have.  It was a dress code violation in my high school to wear shorts but if we had been able to I still would not have worn them because of the scars across my knees, if wearing jeans allowed me to fool myself into believing that the rest of my “peers”  thought I was normal then I was happy to labor under that delusion.  The scar from my back surgery came with a certain kind of pride actually.  At that time I had it that particular surgery was still experimental and the warning that came with it then and is still given now is that the patient may not regain the same level of function they had before.  Most other surgeries, with the correct therapy improvement however minor, is pretty much guaranteed, not so in this case. I was aware of the risks yet I still went through with it.  Yes I was the one to make that choice on my own seeing as how I would have to live with the repercussions of it intimately if something went wrong.  At least in this case  I am glad to say I am a statistic, fortunately a positive one.

Despite that I still harbored a general dislike of my scars.  I have called myself “Frankenstein’s daughter” on more than one occasion as well as several other generally not nice phrases.  Recently however, it has been brought to my attention, by more than one person, that my scars (particularly the one on my spine) could be… “intriguing” .  Needless to say I was, and still am, floored.  I had never even considered that a person might have that particular reaction to something I obviously considered a prominent sign of a defect I wished to deny the existence of.  Now if I blush at the thought of my scars it still could be my general annoyance with things I can’t change but there is an equal chance that I have remembered that some people can know about my scars and instead of seeing Frankenstein’s daughter they still see a girl worthy of being a Princess.

Amazing the change in depth perception a few years can make.

I think I came full circle today…..

broken-glassBefore everybody panics and I get several frantic phone calls that is NOT my wrist! Promise! Google image search is wonderful.  That being said it very easily could have been when I was 14.  I remember staring at the broken pieces of a Mason jar which I had deliberately chipped against the concrete table until two small pieces lay on the tabletop.  The light sparkled on the jagged edges very prettily and I remember thinking that it was kind of sad that I would miss seeing the sunshine through my homemade stained-glass, stained with my blood of course.  Fortunately right then my cousin and his best friend came up. I passed off the broken jar as yet another example of my stellar lack of coordination and life continued.

It has been several years since that day and while I’m refused to say thatI am “cured” of all my mental issues (because I’m not) I will say I’m much better than I used to be.

Today I gave the number to  a suicide prevention line to help someone  I will never meet so thay he doesn’t  have to watch someone he loves die. Ten years ago as my cousin threw away a broken jar, I wondered if there would be a reason for me ro be glad I hadn’t gone through with it. Thankfully there have been several. T0day, or rather yesterday by the time this is published,May 6, 2009, was one of the best. Ten years from the day I ALMOST killed myself, I can see the ripples from the  choice I DIDN’T make  getting bigger, amd yes I am glad.

1-800-SUICIDE Please….if you need to….use it.

love… the great equalizer… or so I thought…

I recently had a discussion with a friend and Matthew Shepard got mentioned  For those of you who don’t know Matthew Shepard was a university student who was beaten to death because he was homosexual.  I think I was 11 at the time this happened but even so I remember being appalled.  Somehow being punched and kicked to a bloody pulp is at least as horrifying if not more so than dying from a gunshot wound.  Matthew was just as much someone’s son as those boys who were scared enough to kill him. “All man of created equal”, remember that?  A simple statement that all Americans at least have known since grade school, but like so much of the history books, apparently untrue.

“All you need is love,” so said John Lennon.  Several years ago when I was dating my senior high school boyfriend of course I met his parents, two of the nicest people you will ever meet  Even though we have long since broken up and rarely speak when we do I still ask how his mom is, both of them.  They’ve been together since he was seven and even know that a lot of distance from 17 to 24 (almost) when the subject comes up I always tell people that he is a wonderful person and a good man.  The fact that he was, in large part, raised by two women makes no difference. They are roughly my folks age so they should be around for a decent bit I have to wonder what will to them as they get older.  Marriage is more than just ceremony confirming commitment.  Once confirmed as a spouse someone’s partner automatically becomes their legal next of kin able to make medical decisions if the other is incapacitated etc.I cannot stand the thought that they might be denied the right to hold their loved ones hand for the last time.  I hope my uncle doesn’t have to face that and when fate decrees it is his time to leave I for one will fight to make sure the person closest to him is allowed to visit.

At almost 24 I freely admit a lot of things I don’t know but after having been in and out of hospitals my entire life there are a couple things I can tell you: hospitals are depressing, all too often humanity stripping, demoralizing places.If the person I love were kept from seeing me because they were female and therefore could not legally be considered my spouse, that would depress me worse.  Yes  that  could actually happen me because I’m bi. As I have said before we all have opinions and I respect yours but before yoi blithely tell me that it’s a choice that I can reverse if I TRULY wanted to, let me ask you, would YOU choose to live a life that could end  with you dead,beaten bad enough that dental records were the only way to identify you?! Didn’t think so!

Churches should still be able to refuse to marry a couple…freedom of religon and all that. But I’d like to point out courthouse have been civil instituations for a long time in most cases.

parents: a blog

Since it is the week before Mother’s Day it feels appropriate to write this now.  I don’t blame you if you inwardly chuckle at the thought of a childless almost 24-year-old writing a blog on the subject.  It is a little humorous but everybody  has parents even if they themselves do not have children, so maybe it’s not all tha odd. My own relationship with my folks is by no means  perfect far far from it. My dad drives me crazy because there are times when (it seems to me) he refuses to admit that I’ve grown up.  I love him anyway. I have the best mom in the world I swear.  This woman picked a doctor by his coat lapels amd slammed him aginst a wall when he said in front of my 4 year old self that there was no way I woul ever walk. By the way, he waas wrong. I need help, and it’s not graceful, but I CAN walk. I’ve even learned to waltz.

When I  woke up screaming on an operating table it took four people to keeo my dad from getting back there. they hadn’t done anything to me yet thank goodness so I didn’t wake up bleeding. I found out later that one of the doctors had misjudged  the level of knock out stuff, that’s why I woke up.

Mom drives me nuts too She  would lose her head were it not attached You have to remind her of things mutiple times if you really want them done.  It takes her at least half  an hour for her to leave the house amd most of the clocks are set fast so she gets places on time. Despite these things, she will always be 10 feet tall and Mommy Mountain to me. Shes’s done something  I couldn’t imagine, she helped raise me.

Even bad parents are good ones in a way.If a child can find a way to survive their parents can provide a prime example of exist traits and habits NOT to pick up.

This Mother’s Day remember to apprciate your parents, good or bad. If they did nothing else right, YOU exist, and that’s definately a good thing!