make. it. stop.

CW: medical/trans drama, suicidal ideation, dysphoria, panic attacks

 

Thank you for your nudges, likes and messages since my last update.

 

I had hoped to come back with great news but alas, I cannot.

 

The Zoladex, after ramping to a critical mass of hormones, ended up working. The migraines faded, as did the pain, and the gynaecologist admitted to having delayed my hysterectomy and I was given a date. This came with a warning -that on the day I would have to fight for it. Instead, I needed to fight -not- to have it, and I failed dramatically. And, now, kinda dying? Maybe.

Continue reading make. it. stop.

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Broken Down…

CN: disability as inspiration, car drama

 

I have been babying my car for a while now – no extra trips, no long trips, no diversions, no resting on the side of the road until the pain subsides. The reason? It hasn’t been serviced in a while. It’s, technically, not even my car, and technically, my parents are responsible for upkeep and servicing, and this is part of our complex deal where I get to live in a house and not the street and in exchange have to do random things like let them know where I am at all times, half their shopping, and filter media. I am not, technically, homeless, so I don’t do anything to upset this.

So when I went to my mum and said ‘the car needs servicing’ and I had to wait until there was money, and wait until they came up so the (male) mechanics could talk to my (male) dad instead of me, with a side of “but you can’t talk how could you do it yourself anyway”, I waited.

 

Until today, when I was on my way home from a blood test, feeling very wrong (and the way I was treated there could be a post of its own…), I went over roadworks (I had forgotten to avoid them), and the car started making a sound that wasn’t normal, even for this car, because that conversation was two years ago.

Continue reading Broken Down…

Cooper Cronk Is Not A Legend

Everyone calling Cooper Cronk a legend for playing with a broken scapula is enshrining this nation’s problem with pain management in crystal and exacerbating the issue.

 

Cronk had access to superior pain management through his team (he had at least 4 painkilling injections throughout the week, most of us are unable to access any).

 

Any suggestion of duty of care to players from the team is being met with bullying and harassment (and remember, workers compensation for sports injuries is the rare exception, as professional sports aren’t covered for precisely this reason) on social media, because playing through the pain is to be praised because of dedication to the team/the sport, yada yada.

 

But the real issue is that while people like Cooper Cronk, Adam Elliott, (etc… etc… etc… and so forth) are publically noted for playing through injuries, people like Bowen Lockwood are left with no financial support and the inability to work after doing so. People like me are further stigmatised for not being able to do things because of chronic pain because ‘famous people (with access to instant, personalised, expensive, dedicated medical care that non-professional-sportspeople cannot hope to have) can do it so why can’t you?’. Every player who doesn’t play through an injury (potentially making it worse or opening themselves to longer-term or more significant consequences) is automatically not-a-legend because of it – even when not playing is better for the team, even when playing should logically be impossible. Every player who retires through injury or through medical advice due to long term consequences or because not being in pain is more important to them than throwing a ball around with mates in a bubble-world, is not tough enough. And that then flows down to us, the people who don’t work because standing is excruciating, who don’t get out of bed because walking is exhausting, who live in the dark because lights hurt, because if Cooper Cronk can play a Grand Final with a broken shoulderblade and painkillers, why can’t we?

 

Because we don’t have access to that kind of medical care (let alone effective or partially-effective medication), because when we ask for it we’re made to wait or told it’s not that bad or we don’t need it or if we just went back to work/ate better/lost weight/gained weight/wished on a star we’d be fine again, because people like Cooper Cronk can do it so everyone can and if they don’t they’re ‘less’.

 

Now, excuse me, I’m an introvert and with all the crap going on that I, as a non-professional non-sportsperson who is ace and non-binary, have to deal with in order to be able to walk from my computer to the kitchen and back, I cannot actually cope with online people, let alone discuss it without ending up in a rage-induced panic attack, so I’m going to go be alone and try not to cry for a while longer, because I have to stockpile spoons just to function.

 

 

With a Whimper, not even a sound

CN: moar chronic pain vs codeine discussion, discrimination, 

 

So as you know, codeine was shoved off onto prescription only as of February of this year. That was five months ago. I told you at the time that a previously considerate GP turned into a threatening ‘you really only have anxiety’ monster after a single telephone consultation with the state rehab people, because “the head doctor” said people only take codeine because it hides anxiety and pain will go away with mental health treatment. You know I was lucky enough to find a new GP, who initially gave me not a small amount of grief, but settled into prescribing me just-under-two-weeks worth every two weeks and didn’t ask where I made up the rest. You know he found something actually wrong, for which I’m going through testing, waiting, and more waiting.

 

You may have even gathered that things were looking better for me – I was establishing a new routine, I wasn’t terrified of going to the doctor because I didn’t know if I’d get a script or have to fight for it or go through another unwanted, traumatic test in order to get it.

 

Today, when I left the room, the receptionist kept offering me tissues and then, instead of letting me type to her, shoved me off into a private room and locked me in.

 

Clearly, something changed.

 

Continue reading With a Whimper, not even a sound

invisible

CN: moar codeine drama, doctor angst, medical anxiety, disordered eating, panic attacks

 

I saw the doctor today. Last week it was ‘try Panadeine, obviously if you’re still allergic you can’t have it, but try it!’. So instead of seeing my family and having an actual Easter, I spent the weekend having an allergic reaction to paracetamol, something which was diagnosed by an actual real doctor a whole three and a bit years ago.

Continue reading invisible

i am crushed

CN: moar codeine drama, discrimination, disability, medical stuffs as gender non conforming

 

I got home from the doctors two hours ago and I have not stopped shaking and cannot seem to stop myself from crying. I am, I think, in shock.

 

 

Yesterday I was planning to go visit my parents for the long weekend.

Now I’m not sure I’ll ever see them again.

 

It wasn’t a great day anyway, owing to an incident in the post office where I went to collect a parcel and they gave it to someone else, who then dumped it on the floor, kept saying it was theirs, and the post office clerk spoke to me like I was two – you know how people are with disabled people, when they speak slow and their voice goes up and they use simple words. I had to get down on the floor and pick up a box, oh, about the size of a television. Nobody apologised to me. I don’t do well with people touching my things in any case, but this was simply horrid. And then a man followed me out, yelling ‘can you manage’ and trapped me between him and the door. It was not the best foundation.

Continue reading i am crushed

Today, I Cried

CN: sexism, ableism, internet harassment

 

Today, I cried. It didn’t last long, but it finally got to me, and I cried.

 

Three weeks ago, I was participating in a discussion on a site I regularly go to, where I felt comfortable saying the a-word and the s-word, and the thread was stated to be closely moderated for things like the s-word, and harassment and.

 

I was, pretty much immediately, told that other people were allowed to have opinions too and if I couldn’t handle that I didn’t belong on the Internet. My actual post wasn’t referenced in any way; it was just a personal attack. I pointed out as much. The poster went off at me, calling me various names, outright stating that they didn’t think I was worth talking to as they’d decided I had a mental health condition, said it was weird I called them out because they didn’t actually say anything relevant anyway (you know, what I pointed out), claimed that the harassment was actually them sharing their privilege and I was silencing them by calling them out for it, and for the last two and a half weeks, it’s been the same comment, over and over.

And over.

Now, since the post was meant to be closely monitored for such things, naturally I assumed that reporting it would result in some kind of mod action, and in the meantime, kept explaining. I ran it past my mum, past people on Facebook, and I was both sure and reassured that he had actually screwed up. My mum pointed out that if I stopped replying, it looked like I ‘lost’, and asked where the mods were.

 

So it’s been three weeks of me receiving multiple comments a day where my mental health was called into question for standing up for myself, and then painting themselves as a victim (did I mention that they called social justice irrelevant?).

 

Today, I napped for an hour and came back to find another one, accompanied with a mod comment.

The mod comment boiled down to ‘I’m not saying he’s right, but I think he set up a bot to harass you so you should just move on because you probably have better things to do!’

 

And that’s why I cried.

Instead of taking action to stop or prevent the harassment of people like me, the mod position is ‘let it go’.

Because, of course, instead of speaking out when people deliberately act to hurt us, we should just take it, since they’ll be allowed to set up bots to harass us anyway (nvm that it’s apparently a bot that’s only online when he is, and has no regular scraping interval).

 

I don’t even have words for how wrong this feels, and that’s why I keep starting to cry.

 

Firstly, that it was allowed to go on so long, in a post where they explicitly said they were policing such things.

Secondly, being told to move on places the burden of dealing with this firmly on the victim (which is me). It says there’s a threshold for how much these things are allowed to hurt us, and a correct way of dealing with it. It minimises how these things affect us. Someone designs a bot specifically to harass you? Move on. Never mind that you can’t go anywhere online without it telling you you’re insane, feeding those little dark anxiety monsters in your head.  However, that’s not the point. The mod requesting action from me to end this, instead of taking action against the person who is hurting me, is displacing the burden of their actions on to me – it says they’re allowed to harass me, but I’m not allowed to show that it hurts me or explain why.

Thirdly, ‘lol it’s a bot it’s pointless because he moved on’. It’s a bot specifically designed to harass me. They didn’t move on. They explicitly took action to minimise the amount of effort to put into harassing me because that’s how much they cared about the effect of what they were doing. The mod is like ‘it’s pointless because he’s not reading it’. But that’s part of the point – that they can casually and simply harass people, and have a large impact from a small effort. It strengthens the already normalised and internalised structural inequality. It’s saying ‘lol it won’t work anyway so why try?’.

 

The mod’s actions here have compounded and crystallised the hurt I felt from the initial reply and subsequent harassment – by trivialising the ease with which the harassment was allowed, and placing the burden on me to deal with it in a way they feel is appropriate, they are tacitly approving of it.

 

Did I mention this is a gaming forum? Post-Gamergate?

 

The only words I had for the mod were ‘If that’s allowed here then I can’t stay anyway.’ Because after three weeks of someone targeting me specifically because I dared to be open about how I was being treated, I’m all out of words. I have spent my life being harassed, for various reasons. I started ignoring it sometimes around high school, and it became a game to them, to get worse and worse just to see if they could make me react. I learned that the only way to stop harassment is to make people understand what they’re doing is wrong; that’s not done by telling them directly, because they get offended and defensive, but by creating an environment where it’s not okay, where people are allowed to stand up for themselves and are made to feel safe about doing so. If people see that someone who is sexist, or ableist, gets called out, they will, eventually learn that is the consequence of hurting someone that way. People who don’t want to do that will learn not to do it; in this case, the person hurting me didn’t care, and they got away with it because I was the one being told to move on, to behave appropriately.

 

Because, you know, when someone hurts you, you’re meant to act the right way so as not to upset anyone else.

 

I can’t even make this make sense or adequately explain why this is the action that is so hurtful. I’ve said that it comes across as allowing the harassment, that it’s placing the burden on me to behave the acceptable way instead of expressing my hurt and saying why it hurt me, that it reinforces the privilege that lets people think they can do this instead of making a safer environment for everyone.

 

But this has hurt me, and if I can’t say it there, I’ll say it here: it’s not okay. It is not okay for a privileged person to dismiss my opinion as emotional because I am not male and therefore subject to such things. It is not okay for a privileged person to (repeatedly!) tell me that my opinions are not valid or worthy because they decided I have a mental health issue (that’s right, I’m not out there as neurodivergent, they just… came up with it on their own…). It is not okay for them to repeatedly dismiss and hurt me for pointing out that they hurt me.

It is not okay for the mod to choose to behave the same way instead of taking action against them. It is not okay to allow them to continue at the cost of hurting me.

 

‘You know, he doesn’t even have to put effort into how he’s hurting you! Just move on!” is how structural inequality is reinforced.