The Problem With Solidarity

CW: rape, PTSD, underage sexual grooming, sexual harassment, gaslighting

 

I am heartily sick of everything being a rainbow. (More particularly, I’m sick of people selling things with rainbows on it and saying they’re allies, because monetizing this whole travesty is ridiculous and offensive.)

 

That’s not what this post is about. Monetizing solidarity is a thing, and I do not like the thing, but what I also do not like is the concept that solidarity is mandatory and harmless.

It is absolutely dangerous and harmful.

It’s easy to like a post when the ACTU stick up a picture of Sally McManus’ head and say ‘workers united will never be defeated!’. It’s not easy to then get your job back after you’ve lost it, even though your right to participate in a union is supposedly legislatively protected. Disciplinary action based on employer monitoring of private social media pages and firings/warnings based on ‘not representing ‘our’ brand’ have been upheld as much as they have been overturned at FWC, and that’s just going to get worse the more integration is seen as necessary – as workers need to brand themselves to be attractive to employers, and social media representation and follower counts become part of that. That’s a financial consequence to solidarity.

That’s also not what I’m talking about.

 

Continue reading The Problem With Solidarity

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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

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

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

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

On the safe space debate

TW: triggers, safe space, ptsd, discussion of (discussion of) sexual offences

 

The other day, the safe space debate hit me. I tend to ignore things-on-the-internet, so for it to get to me usually means it’s a huge issue.

 

“I don’t believe in safe space, what do you think?”

 

Huh? This came from the person who saw me having an epic panic attack, complete with crying, panda eyes, and a  distinct lack of coordination, and let me sit in his room so I didn’t have to deal with people.

Continue reading On the safe space debate

my pain is invisible

TW: chronic pain, undertreatment, mistreatment, ableism, disordered eating, dysphoria, mental illness, sucky people about all the above

 

“you’re not sick” he says

“you come here

each week

and sing beautifully”

never mind that

the rest of the time

my brain is too tired

even for words

or letters

even one

 

“if you don’t have it” he says

“you won’t need it

and then you’ll be fine”

because opiates

are only for pain

when its really bad

never mind

that thing that crunches

when i breathe

or the clicking

in my spine

or the constant

strained muscles

from throwing up

or how i can’t

even stand up straight

and my knees don’t

bend like they’re

meant to

 

then there’s the pain

that doesn’t have a sound

or make it harder to move

it’s the knife in my back

in my thoracic spine

between t7 and t8

that didn’t show on the xray

just ‘that’s not significant’

because the disc was

only a little bit out of place

 

it’s the tenderness in my stomach

it was better before they cut it open

just to see

“don’t touch” i say

in my mind

because the teddy bear

understands me

when i hold him

 

it’s the lance in my groin

at least i think

i point to the same place

and they call it different things

“adductor strain”

“referred pain”

“ovarian cysts”

“endometriosis”

and now it’s

“non specific pelvic pain”

they say it’s in my head

that the nerves misfire

because they already took out

my appendix

my gall bladder

and their cuts didn’t heal

but they won’t take out

the other things

a uterus

ovaries

that don’t belong to me

“you might change your mind

if you meet a nice man”

and then what?

will i want the pain?

will i want a body that’s not mine?

just to please

someone who can’t see me?

will i

suddenly not be ace

or childfree

and be unhappy?

 

it’s in my head

but for real

they say that the lesions

mean nothing

and i suppose

that everyone can’t see

their brains don’t hold

words

letters

numbers

and they can’t move their faces

even to pretend

to smile

and their bodies

betray them too

so their doctors can yell

“you’re not trying hard enough”

when they can’t touch their toes

or make their hands meet

 

“your anxiety makes it worse”

“it’s just your ptsd

it will go away

when you’re all better”

is another thing

because having

a mental illness

means i can’t have pain too

or that it’s only because

my brain

sends signals

to the wrong place

and really

my stomach

doesn’t live

in the wrong place

and the pain

that came before

never existed

 

there’s pain in my shoulder too

and my knees

and my ankle and wrist too

on my weak side

from the migraines

it started one day

nobody knows why

i was told to lose weight

but then i was told i was underweight

and probably anorexic

and they only stopped

when my bloodwork showed only

that they couldn’t exclude

arthritis

hyperthyroidism

really it said nothing

other than i was still capable

of feeding myself

 

they don’t see

when i fall over

smash a table

lie in the pieces

waiting for the strength

to crawl back up

and fix it

again

 

they don’t see

when nothing stops it

and the pain keeps me awake

for days

and days

and ice does not numb it

and heat only burns

because it really is that bad

because i can’t even

get up

to do my stretches

and my brain

doesn’t know what they are

 

they don’t see

the circles under my eyes

because i hide them

with enough makeup

that it weighs on my skin

so i know not to cry

or the bruises

because they’re always

in awkward places

and nobody’s looking

 

they don’t see

that i take hours

just to get dressed

because i have to rest

after i do my hair

after i fix my clothes

after i do makeup

and then again

 

they don’t see

how even the shower hurts

the water

sending shocks up my spine

and sounds

that make my skin crawl

or rather

the sounds themselves

on my skin

they don’t understand

when i say

the pain is white

it feels like a thing in me

pushing to get out

 

“just get a taxi” they say

when something’s too far

because i sit

in the waiting room

and in the office

and swallow the pain

and the nausea

so they don’t see

that sitting is what hurts

and taxi drivers

don’t stop every ten minutes

so you can lie on the ground

and put your back

in neutral

and lay out flat

so pulling your legs up

doesn’t hurt

the whatever it is

and don’t forget

that buses

somehow

give you migraines

if you don’t have one

already

that is

 

or they say

“think positive”

or

“my cousin’s cousin did”

and you can’t tell them

that you tried it

years ago

and the other thing

and you’ve been told

there are no more options

other than make do

as you are

you will never be

pain free

again

but don’t take the pills

and physio will fix everything

even autism

because it’s still magic

even though

it didn’t work

and you just

do the exercises

at home

so you can say

they don’t work yet

 

and the chemist

when they refuse to serve you

because the migraine

stops you from writing

because you need

the pills

for the migraine

they say “see a doctor”

because that’s

an original idea

i haven’t tried that

at all

i guess

all these people

are just in my head too

or something

 

my pain

is invisible

but it is there

and i am doing

the best that

i know

how