angry beyond words

i’m angry. i’m resentful. i don’t know where to begin.

a best friend and i just had a really deep conversation about how private i am about my sex/relationship life. i am unable to allow anyone to get close to me in that way. learning about doctors as a for-profit industry [medical industrial complex] has equipped me with the tools to describe my anger in words.

i am ANGRY that i have never felt ownership of my body in the last 20 years.

i RESENT the fact that the only way i can own my body is to stay away from doctors and people. to stay away and never let anyone near. this has been very detrimental in my physical health and emotional relationships that require physical closeness.

i am forever SCARRED by movies, news stories, authorities, religion, and people who have told me that my existence as a disabled person, a woman of color, as a queer person, as a queer disabled woman of color is reprehensible [to be blamed] and ugly.

i am FRUSTERATED that a life of surgeries, biopsies [tests], physical therapy, and appointments with every specialist has left me feeling like i have lost parts of me for some unknown quest to be normal (that was not even wanted or requested by me).

i can’t believe that all these years later it is leaving such a real big imprint on my life and how i interact with people. i hate this. i hate them. and at this point, i don’t even have the energy to hate right now.

where the hell does this leave me? how do i claim my body as my own? does anyone know?

friend (7:27:04 PM): not w/ me, but PURELY in hypothetical world, would u ever have a 3some?
friend (7:27:13 PM): w/ someone in general
Proud2bCrip (7:27:24 PM): if i trusted them
Proud2bCrip (7:27:36 PM): i have weird hang-ups w/ letting ppl close in relationshpis
Proud2bCrip (7:27:41 PM): if you haven’t noticed yet
friend (7:27:46 PM): HAHAHAHA
Proud2bCrip (7:27:52 PM): i mean not friendships
Proud2bCrip (7:27:54 PM): but relationships
friend (7:27:58 PM): yes
friend (7:28:03 PM): i have noticed somewhat
friend (7:28:10 PM): from ur stories
Proud2bCrip (7:28:16 PM): lol
friend (7:28:23 PM): and ur soooo private about it
Proud2bCrip (7:28:24 PM): that’s quite an understatement huh?
friend (7:28:38 PM): i can’t even imagine trying to seduce u into a 3some
Proud2bCrip (7:28:46 PM): geez, thanks a lot
friend (7:28:51 PM): no i mean
friend (7:28:57 PM): ur uber hot
friend (7:29:12 PM): but ur sooo private about ur sex life
friend (7:29:23 PM): i’m always talkin about who i have or want to bone
Proud2bCrip (7:29:31 PM): i know, it scares me to be like that
friend (7:29:31 PM): and i have NO IDEA about u
friend (7:29:57 PM): so if u can’t even talk about it, i can’t imagine trying to seduce u into doing it
Proud2bCrip (7:30:03 PM): right
friend (7:30:18 PM): that’s all i meant
Proud2bCrip (7:30:19 PM): so the woman i was telling you about, we talked a lot about our bodies not being ours
Proud2bCrip (7:30:27 PM): as disabled women in the medical industrial complex
Proud2bCrip (7:30:32 PM): and it’s sooo tied to that for me
friend (7:30:37 PM): mmmm
Proud2bCrip (7:30:39 PM): i fear being close to someone like i fear doctors
friend (7:30:45 PM): i think i understand
friend (7:30:48 PM): explain more?
Proud2bCrip (7:31:01 PM): once you let them in, you have no control w/ what happens
Proud2bCrip (7:31:10 PM): the only way to own your body is to stay far away
Proud2bCrip (7:31:13 PM): re: doctors
friend (7:31:27 PM): ahhhh
Proud2bCrip (7:31:28 PM): i know that doesn’t work in relationships
friend (7:31:30 PM): i understand
Proud2bCrip (7:31:32 PM): so it’s really frustrating
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42 Comments

Filed under disability, queer issues/culture, sexuality, violence, woc

42 responses to “angry beyond words

  1. bfp

    um, did I write this to you without my knowledge? seduce you into a threesome indeed. 🙂

    seriously tho, I’m feeling you hard on your anger and rage and resentment. I was talking this past weekend to adele about my own problems with the medical establishment and honestly, I think it was the first step towards me really starting to pull out of the horrible depression I’ve been in.

    I hope that speaking the truth does the same for you.
    much love.

  2. Ironjawedangel

    When I read your posts it sometimes strikes me as completely uncanny how many aspects of our lives are parallel.

    I was just having a very, very similar conversation with a good friend the other night. As someone with a rare syndrome, I was always the one that doctors and interns wanted to examine (and generally treat as an exploitable object as opposed to a person). I’m well into my twenties and I *still* get requests from teaching hospitals to come and play guinea pig (to which I always reply f*ck you). And it also continues to affect me in my relationships and the way I interact with the world in general. I’ve often had people tell me that I’m distrustful or someone who takes a long time to get to know, and all of the above are the reasons why. I’d like to think that I’m getting better about it, but it’s definitely been a slow and painful process. Some days I wonder if I will ever truly own my body in the way that able bodied, non queer people (and, really, just men) do.

    In a slightly unrelated note, I want to respond to so many of your posts b/c so many of the issues you write about are things that I’ve been wrestling with in my own life, but I often don’t have the time. 😦 Hopefully when the Bar is over, I’ll have the time to engage in dialog the way I want.

  3. Liz

    Here is what I think…..the fact that you are LOOKING at this is HUGE. The fact that you are AWARE means you are ready to work on it. Talk to friends or professionals or both. Read stuff. Just keep looking at it and you will grow in time. You are such a cool person and you deserve all the best that life and love have to offer. 🙂

  4. mhm, bfp, uhh 3some anytime? you know how to get at me : P definitely hear you on how conversations w/ adele really started to pull you into a new place. there is so much anger and pain there i don’t even know where to begin (although adele’s kitchen does sound perfect for this, man i miss her!)

    IJA—so happy you stopped by and sooo happy you are coming to NC this weekend. i can’t wait to have this conversation with you in person (and many many more)

    Liz, thanks for the advice. If you know any good things to read let me know! ❤

  5. wow.

    im amazed that you are brave enuf to even speak/write this into life. and inspired and thankful that u shared it with us via the blogoverse. i wish i had something to offer. but all i have is support. for u and others reading this and myself too. it always seems like the hardest battles we have to fight are the ones we fight to reclaim our bodies and ourselves. i know its true for me, so true. But I don’t always appreciate the damage those battles wreck on me. Because I’ve never been told to nurse those wounds, right? Because I was never supposed to be fighting for my self-image anyway….or I should have known what I was getting into if I did? I dunno.

    Thank you, thank you for this post.

  6. *nods*

    what surprised me about my awakenings about sexuality (and there were many) is how long it took. it’s frustrating to look back on the past and feel like there were lost opportunities or stolen time, but it just took that much to get me where i am now.

  7. sanabituranima

    I’m not aying this to be rud, but I think you’re looking it from the wrong angle.

    Nobody has a right to own their own body or their own mind or their own talentsor their own soul or teir own house or even their own underwear. Everything we have, everything, must belong to everyone. I must use my body for the good of all people in the world. The fact I happen to live in this body doesn’t give me any right to choose what happens to it.

    We will only rid the worldf racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism etc. when people stop thinking of themselves as owning anything, including their bodies and minds. Otherwise, selfishness wll continue to be seen as legitimate and priveledge will never be abolished.

  8. Pingback: His compulsion is our liberation « Sanabitur Anima Mea

  9. I get so angry taht so many women don’t have control/ownership of their body. That they aren’t at home in it because so many people demand access to it.

    One place to possibly learn about being in your body and vulnerability is from trans people. Kate Bornstein has written some really interesting stuff about how she was disconnected from her body for so long (because it didn’t match her gender) and how she has worked to be more in it. Also maybe some fat acceptance writers.

    Trying to do this is difficult and brave.

  10. OK, firstly i have to say that i disagree on the profoundest possible level with sanabituranima’s comment… although, i would probably have agreed with it about 5 or 6 years ago. However, that is going to be the subject of an upcoming post of mine about ethical libertarianism, so i’ll save detailed response to it for that…

    Secondly… i’m feeling you, cripchick, tho i don’t really have any good advice. I have… kind of, but not absolutely, similar issues, only on a mental level rather than a physical one. And i think a LOT of disabled people (maybe nearly all disabled people, TBH) and other minorities (eg queer, trans, intersex people) have incredibly similar feelings and histories, which you have voiced (as always) powerfully and eloquently…

    Thirdly i have to second your friend that you are definitely “uber hot” (and i feel able to say that because i know that i’ll almost certainly never meet you in the flesh) 🙂

    Looking forward to your posts on your return…

  11. I think posting this is HUGE. I don’t know you that well and I’ve only been reading for a few weeks, but I know that when you don’t feel like you own your own body, sharing publicly a conversation about those feelings, the anger and frustration, is pretty astounding. I don’t know if I’d feel very comfortable sharing talk of threesomes on my blog, and I don’t even have the same fear of closeness or an uncomfortable past full of doctors.

    I don’t know how to claim your body as your own (besides giving a resounding “PISS OFF!” to any doctor who tries to make you feel otherwise– but that’s not enough) but I know you will find a way.

  12. sanabituranima, if I don’t “any right to choose what happens to [my body]” then I don’t have a right to not be raped. As a woman who has been raped and as an anti-rape activist: I have a right to not be raped. You have a right not to be raped. We all have the right to decide what happens to our bodies, and once you take that away THAT is when evil starts to happen.

    And I did find your comment very rude and your post very condescending towards cripchick. You said in your post that “To claim ownership of “my” mind, body and possessions is to say I am more worthy than those whose minds and bodies are devalued in society, and that I have more right to a computer than starving people have to food.” No, but to come to a woman’s blog who has just written about her experiences with feeling as though she does not own her body as a queer disabled woman of color and say to her that no she doesn’t own her body as though that’s your call . . . that is assigning worth to people, and yup, you’re still getting more. Do you not realize that it’s a privilege to be able to say that ownership of your own body should not be important in a person’s life?

    Sorry, I will stop. CripChick, feel free to delete my comment for whatever reason if you’d like. But I did want to thank you for sharing this with your readers and for being an all around brave, cool person.

  13. gallinggalla

    I second Cara’s comment.

    And sanabituranima, do you let other people tell you what to eat for breakfast and when? You know, for the good of the world.

  14. I second Shiva, Cara and gallinggalla.

    If we do not see our own bodies and minds as our own, if ownership of our minds, bodies, talents, etc is communal and not personal, then I don’t see how it’s remotely possible to acknowledge human rights or civil rights. If I have no personal autonomy, how can I object to being raped?

    I cannot express strongly enough how much I disagree with Sanabituranima. That philosophy removes the value of choice.

  15. Miss Cripchick, ouch… I sympathize, I’ve had my own intimacy issues due to gender rather than disability. I can’t say I’ve been as angry as you, but I’m sure that anger’s within walking distance.

    Much love to you!

  16. LOL all I got out of this post at first was “threesome” and “cripchick”. Man, you can tell where my mind has been since Spring sprung.

    HOWEVER, upon rereading, I return to the subject. I share your frustration about control on so many levels. I am disabled (“invisible disability”), meaning I never meet anyone because of anxiety issues and shyness, but equally importantly I am transgendered.

    Despite being sexually active since about 15 (I am 33), I can count on one hand the number of times I have orgasmed with a partner. My own discomfort with my body is severe.

    While I am now post-surgery, I remain incredibly self-conscious about my own body – its appearance, its “truthfulness”, the need to come out to a potential sex partner and the generalised hostility the dyke community has against transwomen. I fear I look, smell, feel, taste somehow wrong, somehow false, and while I can discuss this issue quite nicely at a distance – ie. through text – in person, I am not able to do so.

    I hope that honesty is fair. I don’t want to presume. I do, however, want to tell the truth about what really ties me in knots about my body. Maybe talking about it openly can help me face it.

  17. sanabituranima

    “As a woman who has been raped and as an anti-rape activist: I have a right to not be raped. You have a right not to be raped. We all have the right to decide what happens to our bodies, and once you take that away THAT is when evil starts to happen.”

    I don’t think I explained this clearly enough.
    I have no right to be selfish with anything. I have no right to do anything that is purely for my own pleasure. I have no MORE rights over “my” body than any other person. The same applies to “my” mind, “my” money etc.

    When I do anything with “my” mind/body/money/computer/, I have to make sure itdoes more good than harm to the world in general. I can’t just think about myself. My desire to buy a new pair of shoes is less important than the lives of ten children who could be given life-saving re-hydration salts for the same amount of money. I cannot say “I am not obligated to give that money away. It is mine.” If my little brother needed a kidney transplant to save his life, my desire to avoid a very small risk of death would be less important than protecting him from certain death. I could not say “I am not obligated to give that kidney away. It is mine.” If one of my friends needs comfort after the death of a relative, but I am exhausted and want to curl up in bed, their need for comfort is more important than my desire for rest. I cannot say “I refuse to give you this time. It is mine.”

    This is because I believe that nothing is mine. Everything I have is on loan to me from God. To take more than my fair share, of to use what I have unjustly is a perversion of His will. I understand that non-religious people will
    However, I am part of the world. I do not believe I am worth less than the rest of the world. My need not to be raped (or anyone’s need not to be raped) is more important than any would-be rapist’s desire for sexual gratification. My need not to be mugged (or anyone’s need not to be mugged) is more important than anyone’s desire to mug me. My need for accomodations (or any person’s need for accomodations) is more important than any potential employer’s desire avoid the inconvenience of putting them in place.
    Does that make sense?
    galling galla, I don’t see how this will make the world a better place, but I had raspberry-wheats without milk, a strawberry and banana smoothie and 20mg citalopram tablet for breakfast.

  18. sanabituranima

    “No, but to come to a woman’s blog who has just written about her experiences with feeling as though she does not own her body as a queer disabled woman of color and say to her that no she doesn’t own her body as though that’s your call”

    I was singling anyone out. I don’t believe anyone owns their own body. It’s not MY call that nobody owns their own body, anymore than it’s MY call that nobody owns anyone else’s body. It’s an ethical position which I am not alone in taking.

    My post was not a personal attack on cripchick, and I don’t feel condscending towards her (as a matter of fact, I see “my”self as intellectually and morally inferior to her and I’m not saying that to sound modest, but because THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE POST – that I am inferior to her. I don’t see how posting abou how I am inferior to someone is condescending or how you could think I believe I am superior to her based on a post about my inferiority to her). It was a personal attack on “my”self. As far as I can tell from her blog, though she believes she should feel she owns her body, she doesn’t use her body to exploit other people. I DO exploit other people and reading this post reminded me of that. On an intellectual level, I don’t believe I own “my” own body or “my” own anything, but when it comes to how I act, I act as though I owned “my” body and “my” possessions, even though I believe I don’t. Cripchick fights against the suppression of others (inclding others who are less supressed than her – e.g strait white disabled men, non disabled men and women of colour).
    And if anyone has a suggestion of a more moral breakfast for me, I’ll take it (if you can provide logical reasons for that breakfast being more moral.)

  19. Pingback: Angry again « No body’s coming to save me

  20. Vicky

    As a close offline friend of sanabituranima, I know what she means, and I agree with it. I also know that she is not phrasing herself in the best way possible, and that she has misrepresented her views.

    This is because she has huge difficulty with communication at the moment. She suffers from psychotic depression, anxiety, and OCD. Her symptoms are similar to those seen in paranoid scizophrenia (which has an effect on language, communication, and social skills). She is a day patient at a psychiatric clinic. Given her fear of being ‘locked up in hospital forever’, I can see why she found the mention of doctors encroaching on ownership of your body distressing. And given her psychosis, I can see why she wasn’t able to articulate herself clearly.

    Certain things trigger delusional thinking in her. Mention of disability, for example, may convince her that she needs to amputate her own leg in order to be likeable. Mention of skin colour may convince her that she needs to turn herself black in order to prevent herself from going to Hell, as she’s ‘being white on purpose’. She was severely bullied for her sexuality, so she also experiences fear and anger over that too – fear and anger that is more rational, given the way she was treated, but that has a tendency to translate into self-harm.

    The urge to self-harm is one reason why she deliberately seeks out blogs that will trigger her – namely blogs that deal with ethnicity, sexuality, and disability. Her brain twists what she reads beyond all recognition into something that will hurt her. Knowing her and her illness as I do, I am aware that she is going to interpret some of these comments to mean that she is an evil dictatorial person who deserves to be raped. Then perhaps she will attempt to set fire to herself as ‘punishment’. Again. She had a bad night last night and needed to call the hospital. I couldn’t work out what the trigger was at first, but if she’s read this, I think I understand.

    This is not the fault of anybody who has commented here. You weren’t to know what her mental state is like, and SA can be triggered by pretty much anything when she gets into a certain state of mind. But please bear in mind that you don’t know the personalities or circumstances or background of anyone you encounter on the Internet. Somebody who appears to be judgemental and condescending may actually be very ill and struggling against a flood of bad memories.

    I’m going to talk to SA and see if we can find some way for her to use the Internet less and perhaps only visit ‘neutral’ sites. But if you see her around again, please remember that she is unwell, and may not be at her most rational and/or communicative when posting blog comments.

    Vicky

  21. mic

    an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but should u run out of apples, isn’t it nice that the doctor will be there to trry to make things better? sure they may come in too close, and yea, they can be gold diggers, but there are good ones who try to (and some may actually do) make u feel better.

    love u, stace.
    mic

  22. sanabituranima

    I apologise for all the stuff I have wrtten here. Vicky has explained why I did it. This does not excuse my behaviour.
    I have probably upset a lot of people, as well asdrawing attention away from the oint of cripchick’s original post. That was not my intentiuon, but I accept it was my fault.
    I have removed all references to this post from my “his compulsion is our liberation” post. I would like my comments to be removed if that’s ok with you.

  23. I have concerns that anyone would say, or believe that owning your own body, and deciding how where and when to use it is selfish or wrong.

    It is the main piece the beginning of a great life, when you decide, and keep to your decision, that no matter what else is taken from you, jurisdiction over your body remains your own…

    Cripchick, keep writing about the anger, when it hits….

  24. Pingback: Burning Words » Blog Archive » Still angry

  25. Wow, this reminds me about something I read about medical rape – the woman wasn’t disabled, but some guy who didn’t know what he was doing gave her a pap smear or something and was doing it wrong and it hurt and she told him to stop but he wouldn’t. Then there’s that horrible issue of students doing pelvic exams on women under anesthesia without their knowledge or consent. I don’t think it needs to be looked at as a problem that only occurs when a vagina is being penetrated – from the way you and she feel, it sounds like doctors need to be trained to understand first and foremost that the patient’s body belongs to the patient, and even if doctors know more about how it works. But is there more to the problem – that is, how does the for-profit model make the situation worse?

  26. once you let them in, you have no control w/ what happens

    And this is the bottom line. Always.

    It’s true.

    I wish I could add something profound, but I don’t have anything profound to say. You have summed up all relationships, everywhere, in this one sentence.

    I think the reason some people become addicted to serial relationships is that they LOOOOVE the out-of-control feeling it gives them to be “in love” all the time. And the reason some people have NO relationships, is fear of same.

  27. Your anger and resentment is perfectly normal.

    Stay strong and keep safe!

  28. hi everyone,
    i apologize for my lack of comments here. things are so hectic here i haven’t had time to be in front of the computer.
    sanabituranima, i’d like to keep your comments here, i feel like the dialogue here has been constructive— i.e. do we own our bodies? why not? also, a lot of the other posters’ comments have been based on your original comments. this is not out of disrespect to you (and if i thought your comments were disrespectful to me as a person and not your beliefs, they wouldn’t have been accepted).
    hope everyone is well.
    cripchick

  29. I am swimming in reaction to this powerful post and I am kind of lame and can’t write coherently because this is HARD stuff, and right on, and so damn honest with your questions.

    Damn.

    Just…damn…

  30. I’m actually VERY disturbed by Vicky’s comment.

    It’s probably one of the most patronising, agency-denying, and therefore frankly oppressive things i’ve ever seen said about anyone by a so-called “friend” – not even to mention the disclosing of huge amounts of extremely personal information about someone without that person’s consent to it…

    To dismiss someone’s views, however strange, false or objectionable those views may be, as “not really their views” on the grounds of being a product of “psychosis” is IMO one of the most crushing and violating things it’s possible to do to a person (and a perfect example of medical denial of self-ownership).

    I can, however, understand how a person who has been denied self-ownership all hir life, to the point of institutionalisation, can end up not believing in self-ownership at all, or even seeing lack of self-ownership as a “virtuous” thing (a form of internalised oppression, or what Nietzsche called “slave morality”). This gives me more empathy for sanabituranima, but does not, IMO, make hir views any less wrong…

  31. hey cripchick,

    we met at the t-shirt transformation in NC. i’m feeling the post and your deft moderation. re:do we own our bodies? well, I have been trying to own mine, or at least hold it for a little while. the problem however, is that there are constant thefts, disruptive interventions which won’t allow me to hold me (a poor, queer, rural, black woman, with no health insurance, clothed, fed and educated with the help of state/federal aid) together. reading your post ran a litany of experiences through my mind, my daily experiences of wrestling skin
    and bones
    and hair
    and sight
    and womb
    and blood
    and touch
    and creativity
    and memory
    and sisterhood
    back
    from whoever might have them on loan, or whoever was using the word “debt” or “invitation” or “productivity” or “paycheck” to make believe i never owned them in the first place. and so, i can’t help but be reminded of the connection between this question of ownership and privilege. of the appropriation of knowledge systems that reject selfish ownership and capital, only to retrofit them out of context to “greater good rhetoric” that still serves oppressive power structures. this too is violence.

    i think it’s interesting that the people who are often the first to call for this “radicalization/sublimation” of selfhood, the most enthusiastic supporters of burying the hatchet and forgetting damage already done, are the most adept thieves, having practiced ownership of other things so well for so long. perhaps they don’t see how absurd it is for them now to attempt to control the discourse around the greater good and obfuscate the issue of accountability. i am angered at all attempts to disrupt, silence, and neutralize the ways womyn/disabled people/queers/people of color/3rd world people go about the recovering what has been taken.

    what does a conversation about this look like when controlled by the people i named above? are their useful definitions that these people have laid down, already are laying down that don’t mimic the violences of enslavement, surveillance, imprisonment, exclusion, isolation, and death? is their ownership/self ownership that make love and justice more possible? those are my questions

    re anger and bravery:

    the appropriateness of all the conversations radical women of color have been having about their anger and how it still useful tool is a theme that has run through many recent conversations with brilliant women of color in my community. our anger at injustice is not destructive. it is not useless or counteractive.

    please check out lex’s brilliant blogging project exploring audre lorde’s essay “The Uses of Anger”

    http://summerofourlorde.wordpress.com/discussion-session-i-uses-of-anger/

    love,
    zach

  32. Pingback: anger and bravery: an open letter to cripchick « the one that got away

  33. theone

    hey cripchick,

    we met at the t-shirt transformation in Pembroke, NCmy response was kinda long so i wrote you an open letter.

    love,
    zach

    ps. please, anyone interested check out lex’s brilliant collective reading project, currently discussing Audre Lorde’s “The Uses of Anger.”

    http://summerofourlorde.wordpress.com/discussion-session-i-uses-of-anger/

  34. Pingback: The other side of reproductive choice « Girly Thoughts

  35. http://epilepsy-paula.blogspot.com/2008/07/who-owns-me.html

    You inspired a post by me… I have to mention that I wrote it thinking of your own posting. Hope you like this or that it helps you in some way.
    Paula Apodaca

  36. Cripchick… it’s nice to find you here, too… just found your blog today while “tag surfing” such a weird concept.

    I’m struck by how much your reclamation of your own body is so similar to the queer fight to reclaim queer bodies. It reminds me of Robert McRuer’s book “Crip Theory”… I know I talk about that book a lot, but it changed the way I look at the world. And I have a technically “abled” body, though queer in many ways. And I often feel like my body is not my own. especially with recent medical issues… my doctors looking at me funny when I ask about simple side effects of medications – I’ve seriously been told “If I told you all the side effects, you wouldn’t take it” right before a needle hits my arm and hurts. 3 weeks later, I wound up being diagnosed with a pretty serious condition called pseudotumor cerebri, which very well could have been, at least in part, due to the fact that I was shot in the arm with steroids and not given permission to question.

    It is really hard to demand respect from the medical-industrial complex, but I’m finding ways to talk to my docs. My neuro-ophthalmologist seems incredibly willing to listen when I can pin him to his chair and force it on him. His nurses are much more willing, and as stereotypical as this sounds, I’m beginning to think female docs are just more willing to be holistically caring for patients.

    I don’t know a strategy for *how* to reclaim one’s body… but for me it’s been a daily struggle and I still don’t feel like I own it. I often feel disoriented and disconnected from my body, but I’ve found that some very physical sensations bring the orientation back. Like pinching myself hard or accidentally scalding myself in the sink. I’m not much of a masochist, but sometimes physical sensations bring me back and remind me that just because I occupy this body, I own it… and sometimes it’s laughter that reminds me – the really good kind that starts deep in my belly.

    I’ll stop rambling in your comments… I should probably use my own blog for that…

    TPQ

  37. Vicky

    “It’s probably one of the most patronising, agency-denying, and therefore frankly oppressive things i’ve ever seen said about anyone by a so-called “friend” – not even to mention the disclosing of huge amounts of extremely personal information about someone without that person’s consent to it…”

    Shiva, it is not your place to decide whether or not I am a true friend to sanabituranima. It’s her place. She’s not quite oppressed and brainwashed enough to need a total stranger on the Internet to assess her situation and vet her friends for her.

    I do have her permission to post explanations of her condition on people’s blogs, if she has been seeking out triggering material deliberately and has said things that do not represent her viewpoint. I have clear instructions on this one. SA has also contacted me in the past to ask me to e-mail blog owners privately to explain things, as she struggles to express herself at times and doesn’t particularly enjoy hurting people. This time she wanted readers who had been upset by her remarks to understand them as well.

    She can’t always articulate them verbally, but she knows exactly what her own opinions are and she stands by those opinions. She does not consider the thoughts that she has when she is experiencing a psychotic episode as representative of herself. To you, trying to amputate your own leg because you believe that you will go to hell if you don’t do it might qualify as a ‘strange opinion’ that ought to be treated as valid. So might e-mailing a blogger that you’ve never met to accuse her of hating you and reading your mind. To SA, these aren’t alarming and objectionable opinions that she just so happens to hold. To her, they are symptoms of a very distressing illness. She asks the people she encounters to make a distinction between her opinions and her symptoms.

    I can tell from your comment that you do not believe that ‘psychosis’ really exists. You are entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to mine. My opinion is that while people bandy around ultra-politicised, super-radical, oh-so-intellectual ideas about how psychosis is just a concept invented by the psychiatric community, who are engaged in a disabling conspiracy to Keep Us Down, one of my closest friends is suffering from terrifying thoughts that make her want to kill herself and hurt other people, among other things. That’s real all right.

    I don’t have ownership of SA’s thoughts or her opinions. I do have a long friendship with her that extends to before the time her illness began. I do have instructions on what she does and doesn’t want me to do. I do have her trust.

    If you care to know what she thinks about the view that ‘psychosis’ has no effect on her thought processes or is an outright fabrication, she has a piece called ‘Everything I Needed to Know About Psychiatry I Learned from the Internet’ that you might find interesting:

    http://sanabituranima.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/everything-i-needed-to-know-about-psychiatry-i-learned-from-the-internet/

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  39. Thank you SO so much for posting about this so honestly and openly and helping crack open more of a space to talk about this.

    I read this awhile ago and meant to comment sooner but never got all my thoughts together. So here they are, incompletely:

    I feel like the last year or two been on that kind of journey and moved a lot in the direction I want to go. I haven’t experienced the same kind of bullshit from doctors and medicine around my body in that way, so there’s probably a lot of different issues involved. But I have had kind of a struggle to feel like I’m starting to feel, in a place where I am more comfortable (and less self-critical) with my sexuality and figuring out how to negotiate it with other people and feel good about it (and by negotiate I mean hooking up with people – when it comes to talking, I usually have a pretty big mouth and have lots of discussions about sex with good friends that I don’t have sexual relationships with). I guess that struggle has partly to do with more mainstream feminist figuring out how to own my body and what I do or don’t want (with myself and with other people), partly with gender/sexuality stuff and feeling uncomfortable with some roles I’m expected to play, and a lot with just not having orgasms or pleasure (which may or may not be related to my diabetes) in the same way young people are “expected” to and that most of my friends and sexual partners have

    Obviously I don’t have “Answers”, and I think we are coming from different places/experiences. Maybe your question at the end of the post was rhetorical. But I guess if you are looking for ideas, things that I am finding helpful to me include therapy (with a good therapist who is straight but queer friendly and generally open/ not into pushing towards “norms”), time and space to think and explore, resources & equipment & books/articles from a good queer/feminist sex store, and a good, laid-back, supportive queer friend with benefits. When I was really frustrated and feeling more trapped and trying to figure out what to do a couple years ago, I didn’t get anywhere. I had stopped trying for a while and then those started to fall in place.

  40. Pingback: Submission « Sanabitur Anima Mea

  41. Pingback: On Freedom « Sanabitur Anima Mea

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