Broken is broken

Contains SPOILERS for the BBC show ‘Broken’

I’m going to cut all of this, because seriously, this show has so many triggers in like, four hours (so far), that like, it’s hit the red exit button for everyone I know. Everyone. And in my view, some of it was entirely unnecessary or unnecessarily explicit. But! So under the jump there will be the TW, because apparently some people got past the first five minutes without putting all the pieces together and I do know at least one person who hasn’t even watched those.

Continue reading Broken is broken

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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

I Can’t Even

TW: gender dysphoria, anxiety, ableism, discrimination, mentions of rape/pregnancy, discussion of reproductive organ stuff

 

I just got home from the gynaecologist. I didn’t make it home before spouting into big ugly tears. I didn’t even make it out of the office, though I fought valiantly to keep them just in my eyes.

 

Let’s recap the situation:

I am genderfluid (they/them), asexual, and very not interested in having children. I very dearly above pretty much everything else in life, including singing with Sir Russell and not having to ever talk to my mother again, want a hysterectomy-oophorectomy.

Continue reading I Can’t Even

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…

That’s The Thing About Football

TW: discussion of media coverage of rape, retraumatisation, rape culture, discussion of social media discussion of rape, police handling of rape

 

It’s the start of March. While the boys have been back training for some months now, some even since October, and the last few weeks have been filled with pre-season matches and promotional events, this is when footy season starts for real. We now get six months where there’s no break from it, as opposed to the off-season, where there might be one day a week where the news doesn’t cross to some oval somewhere, or a player hasn’t done something.

 

Continue reading That’s The Thing About Football

Hot Girl Privilege

TW: ableism, discrimination, discussion of medication and being triggered

 

This is what my pain medication situation looks like right now:

January: Pain specialist does a superficial examination (which triggers me) and says he’ll give my psychiatrist a script to give to me, and will see me again after that so he can see how I’m going with it.

Yesterday: Psychiatrist refused to give me a prescription because he didn’t think it was appropriate, so I have to wait a month to see the pain specialist again for another examination.

 

I decided to experiment. Since I’m stuck with my current medication for another month and instead of ‘try not to take it’ I was told ‘do not change anything’, and I had run out in anticipation of having a prescription, I needed to get some more.

This is what happened last time I went to the late night chemist.

Today it was later, I was presenting feminine (because lazy-default is a maxi dress, corset and jacket with heels and my hair in a single or double braid), and the assistant was masculine-presenting.

I had no trouble.

This could also be attributed to the fact that my eyes look like my makeup ran to panda eyes and my right leg buckles every time I put weight on it, like, when, you know, walking.

But the people before me was getting different brand same thing, and I caught the tail end of the lecture, and they had to disclose their appointment schedule, treatment plan, and symptoms.

I just had to go ‘no’ to the ‘are you on any other medication? do you have stomach trouble?’ routine.

I wonder, I really do. Last time I was presenting more andro, and there were female-presenting staff. The pharmacy where I go every Friday and if I get my days mixed up and run out? Is run by a man. He only asks to make sure he gives me the right brand.

How much of my luck so far has been because I’m apparently quite attractive when I present female? Is it as much as the ‘female under 30 must have psychosomatic pain’ preconception?

 

I don’t know. I don’t know how to test for this. It just happens too often to be entirely disregarded.

 

 

A disadvantage of this, however, is that apparently specialists won’t be alone in a room with me. The pain specialist, despite me saying no, I did not want this, brought in one of the admin people to stand in a place i couldn’t see while he made me bend and told me to take off my shoes “so I could balance better” (nvm that i fall over without them). It is worth noting, too, that the psychiatrist specifically asked me if this was okay to put in the referral and I specifically said no and stated that it was traumatising for me.

The psychiatrist asked me how the appointment went, and I stated this and that it was against my wishes. The fact that he deliberately ignored me telling him I did not want a chaperone, and that the psychiatrist specifically included ‘do not have a chaperone’ in the referral is suddenly forgotten, and the fact that I’ve been having nightmares for the last three weeks directly because of this is totally dismissed. If I do not go back to this pain specialist, I do not get better meds, and I don’t get another referral. Apparently this is because the last specialist I went to was a bitch who pulled my hair and also refused to respect me saying ‘no’ to her dislocating my shoulder because she decided I needed help to move around, and the psychiatrist thinks she’s a nice person so therefore I must be making it up, so I now have to have someone watch me go through this so that I can’t make more things up.  (This is what he said. I was pissed.)

(Who on earth thinks having a random stranger come and supervise while a doctor makes you run through positions and pushes you around isn’t humiliating and capable of being a trigger for someone? I don’t get it. My plan is, if he tries again, to walk out. The thought of it getting to that point? Well, the nightmares aren’t going to stop, are they? And I thought I wasn’t sleeping properly before.)

FFXV and Disability… maybe

TW: visible vs invisible illness, privilege
SPOILERS for Final Fantasy XV

You might remember a while ago, before the computer incident, I said I wanted to talk about how Final Fantasy XV treated disability.

I (apparently stupidly) mentioned this a few other places, and showed a few people a rough draft of the key points I wanted to cover.

This draft was rough, really. It was a paragraph for each point; there were meant to be three, but I described point three under point two; I didn’t go and play the game again, check the videos I had saved of my playthrough, It was <i> a draft</i>.

This revealed a few points about how gamers see disability and games that felt, to me, more important than pointing out that the game treats invisible disabilities much more cavalierly than visible ones. (Sure, now that the dust has settled, there are a lot of people who feel like it was ‘unfair’ and ‘could have been better explained’. That wasn’t my point. My point was that the game showed this as okay, and as an AAA title with a worldwide audience, which took into account significant player feedback during development, it should have made an effort to portray the invisible disability just as compassionately as the visible one. (On the same place where this discussion took place, there were arguments about Scarlett Johanssen’s casting in Ghost in the Shell, Riverdale erasing asexuality, and Black visibility in American media. I would have thought I wouldn’t have to spell this out.)

My conclusion out of all this was that it was useless trying to continue talking there, because the counter arguments were “but they are privileged and in character so it’s okay” and “but you need a doctor to diagnose mental illness because it’s really hard so we shouldn’t expect people to know anything is wrong” and “we have more information than they do so we can’t expect too much from them”. I didn’t have it in me to try to explain that in-universe privilege doesn’t excuse anyone not noticing their best friend is in crisis, or that even doctors don’t always understand or correctly diagnose/treat mental illness, or dismiss it completely (as happens in-game). It shouldn’t be shown as okay or in-character for someone living in close quarters with someone else to bully and put down that person explicitly for having a crisis, while being solicitous of someone with a visible disability. This normalises treating mental illness as an other, as a thing that people can’t see or understand, and that filters onwards.

“But they’re young and don’t have experience with it, so they don’t know what to do,” was another thing. Nobody ever asked, either.

 

I didn’t want to keep on trying to explain how in-game signals and the very change in personality they pointed out were exactly what should have clued them in to Something Being Wrong, and that a character not knowing what to do shouldn’t mean that ignoring the entire thing was okay. I was told I was disregarding character in favour of wanting a “Correct” approach, like a “How To Deal With Disability Handbook checklist”.

 

And then, when I left the conversation, the person who silenced me was told that they won.

 

I don’t know how to explain that none of this is okay. I don’t know how to say that dismissing something because you can’t put a name on something isn’t okay. I don’t know how to say that lowering expectations of portrayals of disability because illness is hard is not okay. Apparently, I’m not able to do that. But that was their argument, which they supposedly won with, as if it was a competition, as if the whole aim was to shut me down.

“You need a doctor to diagnose mental illness because it can be so many things and it’s really hard, so we can’t expect normal people to notice what up and not tell people off for having something wrong,” is not okay as an argument or a position in real life. If we switched ‘mental illness’ there for ‘physical injury’, it would sound stupid.

“You need a doctor to tell you your leg is broken because it could be so many things and it’s really hard so we can’t expect a normal person to notice that you can’t walk and not tell you off for not walking. ” Sure. A normal person couldn’t easily diagnose or treat a compound tibial fracture, but it’s pretty likely that your normal person is going to be able to tell that you can’t take weight on that leg (even if it appears totally normal, isn’t swelling, doesn’t have a bone sticking out or foot pointed the wrong way) and that you’re in pain, and is socially expected to help to the best of their ability – calling an ambulance, bringing water, blanket, making the area safe. If someone with medical training is present, most law areas have provisions allowing them to provide first aid with the expectation of not being held liable for doing so.

“You need a doctor to tell you have acute adjustment disorder with anxiety and depressive mood because it could be so many things and it’s really hard so we can’t expect a normal person to notice that suddenly you’re withdrawing from your friends, having emotional outbursts, and having trouble coping with your job.” Sure. A normal person wouldn’t even know the term, but they could pretty easily tell that your entire personality changed, or that you’re not doing things you used to,  or that something that society deems easy is suddenly really hard and making you cry. They can check on you more often, ask what you need, offer you time off, call an ambulance (which can be humiliating, so I recommend only doing this if there’s actual, you know, risk in play, not just someone crying in a corner for a few seconds; use discretion and judgment), offer to include you in a social thing and not tell you off if you don’t participate at a certain level. The point here, is that even though you can’t <i>see</i> the injury because it’s inside, you can see the <i>effects</i> of it. You can see that frequent panic attacks may not allow someone to work full time.

Except, when someone can’t do the thing society expects that you should, and you’re not visibly unable to do it, then society puts you on the outside. You have to fight to get the same treatment as someone with a visible injury. In many cases, even people with a visible injury and a proper name for it and an army of doctors who agree have to fight for things like compensation, welfare, and/or accommodations. Normalising that because it’s something we can’t see and diagnose, treating it differently to a visible illness is okay, IS NOT OKAY.

 

I will now refer specifically to the in-game situation, so if you haven’t played and don’t want to be spoiled, thank you for reading and I hope I made sense.

Continue reading FFXV and Disability… maybe