Why Boycott?

CN: SSM plebiscite, politics, homophobia

 

Unless you’re lucky enough to live under a rock, you have heard -something- about the Australian Government’s “brilliant” idea of getting everyone to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be allowed. You probably also heard a bunch of people saying the vote is rigged, that it’s defeatist, that it’s probably illegal but maybe not, and that it’s homophobic and causing real harm to people.

Antony Green points out that voluntary postal votes have lower participation rates, particularly among groups that might be expected to have more people vote yes. Michael Kirby, former Justice of the High Court, called it ‘unacceptable‘. It’s been reported that the organisation tasked with managing the vote isn’t up to it, but no alternatives exist. And, of course, now we’re being told that if we don’t vote, it’s our fault if the result is no. But it’s also quite possibly illegal, so.

After my experience with last year’s census, and remembering how my vote wasn’t counted since I couldn’t write neatly enough, being disabled and all, I don’t trust the ABS, even if they’re held to AEC rules, to pull this off. A lot of the damage has been done already, while this issue has been dragged out over years, and people are continually treated as ‘different’ and being ‘othered’ for existing.

While I’m writing this, an interlocutory hearing for an injunction against the vote is being held. I’m hoping PFLAG’s application gets upheld, but Kirby isn’t on the High Court any more, so, I don’t know whether it will.

If it doesn’t, and the vote goes ahead, I intend to boycott.

Continue reading Why Boycott?

Road Rage strikes again

TW: MVAs, verbal abuse, police people

 

I have my new computer at last and there are so many little things I know now to appreciate – a dimmed monitor, a seat that hurts less, an ergonomic keyboard…

 

This just means that I am able to relate to you today yet another example of why I, as a person with a disability/disabled person/neuroatypical person/etc., will go out of my way to avoid dealing with the police. A lot of little things happened today to put me out of my routine and in a different place at a different time for this to happen.

Continue reading Road Rage strikes again

Oh, Supergirl…

TW: workplace harassment

 

I don’t know what’s been worse for me – watching Supergirl and seeing Kara being bullied at work, or being told every time I bring it up and point it out in some fannish space that it’s not bullying, it’s a positive mentor relationship (or something).

 

Let’s get something straight – part of the problem is the people who don’t believe workplace harassment is a thing that happens, or that women don’t bully people, or whatever the excuse is. It happens. It’s a thing. Workplace bullying can cause PTSD.

 

SPOILERS for Supergirl up to the current US airing follow.

Continue reading Oh, Supergirl…

Tech let me down!

TW: disability discrimination, mention of miscarriage and the trigger warning debate

So I have a story to tell you. It starts with my computer blowing up on New Years Eve, and will end in a few days when my new computer is set up and accessibility-modded. In the middle, we have people treating me like I am stupid (either because of my brain not making words, or because I’m currently unable to pass as anything but female), and we have being banned from Officeworks by virtue of being unable to talk.

 

Yep.

 

 

Continue reading Tech let me down!

Good News!

TW: female body issues, anxiety

 

I am officially old enough to be taken seriously when I make a decision about my body. You know, the one that is like ‘I do not want kids ever, I will kill myself if I have another period ever, the wacky hormones this body likes not having controlled are making my anxiety worse and I would like them to go away, please take out the thing that makes them’.  It wasn’t the most perfect appointment – despite telling me to make the appointment myself, the GP sent the referral anyway, so the appointment was made for less than two weeks away (which is now today, because I totally abandoned the internet for a week in favour of Final Fantasy XV, and there will be a post on that so if you haven’t finished the main story, get on it), and my psychiatrist didn’t know about it and had two days to send the ‘this is what is needed to facilitate best communication and this is where we are at in diagnosing things as either brain or not-brain’. Naturally, that didn’t arrive, so I got there and had to type on my phone, which means all statements must be Twitter-style brief and concise, which I am terrible at. Luckily, I took a summary of everything-since-I-was-12 and that answered most of the questions, so it wasn’t a disaster.

 

However, despite being old enough to say ‘this is what I want’, I now have to see not only my psychiatrist and return to the GP to get both of them to sign off in writing, I have to see another psychiatrist and another gynaecologist, so they all can sign off. And I can only have half of what I want (a partial hysterectomy, because they won’t take out the ovaries because they make the hormones which are causing the problem), anyway. And you know, it’s the law, so we have to cover our arses, you know “in case you change your mind”.

 

Which, I won’t. Obviously.

 

So now I have to pay for all this.

 

The good news is that I can, kinda. Medicare pay for some, private health pays for some, and the rest comes out of my shiny new disability payment. Turns out, I didn’t have to go to the appointment in the first place, or something, or something else, which I don’t know because I can’t call them and I only know this because I got a response to my third complaint which said “your issue has a resolution, please call if you want to know more”. And then! Money! In my account! Enough to pay down my credit card, pay for the gynaecologist, and buy a Christmas cake. And I can send presents to my family now!

 

And I’m just going to go back to Final Fantasy, because I am being very calm, because my head hurts and I’m terrified this won’t happen before I either need a new Pap smear, need a new Implanon, or get the period-after-the-Implanon-has-been-in-for-a-few-months. I know it’s coming, because my head hates me and I’m bloated rather unevenly and I haven’t even been able to keep my bi-weekly vegan alfredo down. I don’t know when.

 

But apparently, according to the gynaecologist today, I look 21, so. And I’m also meant to stick with my current pain relief regime because it’s good for me. You know, the one I routinely have trouble purchasing.

 

 

 

Yeah.

 

 

 

Externalisation

TW: discussion of externalisation therapy, discussion of and description of treatment of personal/sexual violence victims, rape and rape aftermath, references to paedophilia

 

I think someone was trying to be helpful when they said that all my entries are about how other people did things to me and I should accept responsibility for it instead.

Accepting responsibility for things is how I got here. Half the point of this is to recognise when things come from other people, and that I am not responsible for that. Sure, I notice more of the people who behave that way, but it’s not like I make them that way, right? I don’t, so I won’t take responsibility for it.

 

Like, say, the psychiatrist is completely off down a track which is not right for me, which comes right after he says “people with your condition instinctively know what they need” and then refuses to listen to what I want, because he has decided that this other thing being fixed will make everything else all go away. I have another appointment with him, because the power went out halfway through and it was faster to make a new one and get out than try to explain that he wasn’t hearing me (reading me? understanding?). That’s not my fault for not being able to make him understand – that’s his fault for not listening, for making up diagnoses and holding information back from me (like, you know, test results), for dismissing me when I tried to ask him for help.

 

Continue reading Externalisation

Ableism at its finest

To get my meds today, I had to write my name.

I was not given my meds, because I can’t write.

The pharmacist didn’t even come out from behind the big counter, so I have not much idea what he was saying. Trying to explain led to him yelling ‘I’LL WRITE IT DOWN’. I walked out. I did not grab the meds off the counter. They do this thing, see, where they get them off the shelf, put them right there, and then I am like ‘can I make it out fast enough?’ and because my back is so bad that if I do not take my meds, it ends up at nausea-level after about twenty minutes (Is that the time? Wow, I lost time again.), obviously, that isn’t happening. It’s also illegal, but.

 

I ended up getting them at a place up the road. I was there, in tears, five minutes before closing. They’d already turned off the computer, and I must have looked even worse than normal, because there were no questions.

 

Apparently this system is meant to help people, you know get help. It was literally two months ago that someone decided ‘oh yeah, you have chronic pain’. It started in 2003. Yeah.

 

I did manage to get my census done, though, eventually. They promised I won’t be fined. But, you know, they’ll send someone out to harass me and destroy my mailbox. You know, the usual.

 

I have reached my sitting threshold for the day and I have just realised that it has been 26 hours since I ate anything. I can only eat pasta right now. It’s gluten free pasta, made from rice. I have gone two weeks without anything with wheat gluten and suddenly, I am able to poo. I have been hearing that the corn substitute for wheat gluten is just as bad. One day I must write about my food journey. Apparently, now I need to pay for allergy testing to prove that I have an allergy I have had since, um, well, I was born? Or before? I don’t know if anyone knows when it starts. This is the same allergy that made my previous GP go ‘oh shit’ after he prescribed me sumatriptan and I went back to him with a swollen throat, bloating, a rash under my left eye, and itchiness. Guess what was an inactive ingredient? Guess who said ‘oh, no, it’s not very much, it won’t do anything at all’?

 

 

So I was going to talk about things other than my general health status here, when I started it, but so far that hasn’t worked out.

Today I went to see a movie. I was very proud of myself because I went to a cinema I have never been to before, even after the drama with the medication and after getting to the shops to find my purse, with all my talking notes and my cards in, was not with me. I went because I had a free ticket, and it was Captain Fantastic starring Viggo Mortensen. I have very rarely seen someone else as excited as me about receiving a new knife. The movie was very ambiguous about Viggo’s character’s state of mind; which I thought detracted from the movie as while we were observing everyone else, we were unable to understand his mental state and the reasons for his actions, and so it became flat and his performance was much less sympathetic and probably more inscrutable than it was directed to be, given how it ended and how everything was reflected back at him in the end. Having a central character be mostly an observer, a controller, and yet given the most significant emotional journey in the film, is a bit of a contradiction. I think it is the kind of movie you have to know how it ends to understand how it leads up to that, and while we have dream sequences, we weren’t given flashbacks, so the understanding we could have had of him was lost. For a movie that was meant to be intellectually deep, as well, the literary signposts were very transparent – analysing Lolita the way they did was more of an anvil than foreshadowing, and anyone who has seen Pollyanna will know what happens at a certain point. I feel like there may have been a message that was lost or made shallow, in between the obviousness, and perhaps we are meant to somehow sit through it two or three times to find a new layer, but doing so? Well, that might be an exercise in patience.

Of course, sitting in a cinema wasn’t good for me either, and I nearly threw up from the nausea when I tried to have a drink. I meant to buy one on the way there, but I ran out of time and bought one from the candy bar instead. I pointed to the ‘Coke’ sign and eventually acquired something approximating Coke. I generally don’t do soda fountains, so I’m not sure if it was Coke, or just meant to be Coke, or it just tasted off because I was nearly throwing up from nausea irrelevant to the different source of drinkable liquid. I nearly threw it up either way. But… I managed to communicate my wishes to the person on the other side of the counter and reach a conclusion. Apparently, it is still possible.