X-Loves and madness and family holidays

Not sure what’s going on here but I took a zolpidem, swallowed it down with stale warm water yet refreshing water all the same. So I will be sleepying soon enough but sometimes right before bed there’s just something stewing or burning or aching that I must tend to before I can sleep. Tonite it’s like an ache in my bones like in my knees and hands and shoulders and my jaw is tight I keep trying to loosen it but this can be a difficult task. I ache emotionally for my mom for my dad for these parents of mine because they do so good to me when I visit and spend all this money on tasty food and all I really have to do is eat it and grace them with my joyous presence in return. But this narrative of giving and deserving and appreciating involves all these other weird manipulative social scripts like if I don’t act proper enough and host our extended guests as I should then its like a cost against me for all the costs my parents have incurred so that I may have such a privileged experience. Words and feelings like disrespect and distrust and hurt and pain get lost amidst these holiday performances of good food and family time.
We sit around my parents’ beautiful outdoor fire pit having dessert, in some ways it’s like the nite has only begun. Apparently my best friend Jessica who i have not spoken to since April 2012 for deeply painful reasons sent my mom a thanksgiving text message and my mom responded by inviting her to stop by. My mom invited her thinking what? shed be all cutesy and have Jess over even when my mom knows the sitch and needs to be my ally? So I’ve evacuated the downstairs and locked myself in the upstairs bedroom for the moment. I really really can’t see her on a whim on a holiday like that so whatever. I physically left the downstairs but I’ve also deserted my parents and all their work on the holiday and I don’t want them to think that I don’t appreciate them all and love them all I just need a place of refuge like this dark upstairs bedroom typing on my iPhone a blog entry into WordPress. I mean really mom, there’s almost a laugh coming out of my mouth and almost a tear coming down my cheek in disbelief I just don’t get why you’d invite her over. I feel weird and upset and quarantined with this insanity just leave me alone please and let me be. I might only feel safe here with the bedroom door locked lights off away from you and her.


free write on how many different types of disabilities i can think of

when i first came to disability studies, i tried to even articulate the word “disability” itself in a way that was fuckin deconstructionist and contextually specific.  it was hard work.  i mean, the actual word “disability” itself is like intrinsically negative.. you know, an insufficiency, a lack, a deformity.

dis- 1
1. indicating reversal: disconnect ; disembark
2. indicating negation, lack, or deprivation: dissimilar ; distrust ; disgrace

that’s from dictionary.com. negation, lack, deprivation. negation, lack, deprivation.

then you have cheesy 1980s activist terminology like TABs (temporarily able-bodied) but that’s for nondisabled people, not disabled people.  so i was like, well how do i say “disability” in a fuckin rad feminist deconstructionist way?

turns out it’s just PWDs (people with disabilities/person with a disability) for person-first language, or disabled person if it’s more in a reappropriative identity-based sense even when it’s not necessarily in an explicit political way.

THEN, once you decide on this larger category and how to say it, you have the heterogeneity of the term.  holy shit! so many different kinds of ways of saying types of disabilities.

some people say cognitive disability, intellectual disability, or developmental disability.  then there’s emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, and behavioral disabilities which may or may not crossover and feed off of the first three disabilities named.  it seems to me that learning disabilities can be within the category cognitive disability, or just a synonym for it, like an interchangeable term for whichever you decide to use specific to the moment in which you use it.  and then same thing for behavioral disabilities and developmental disability.  not to mention the autistic self-advocacy movement, where folks might use “autistic” as reclamation or they prefer saying “on the autistic spectrum” in another person-first kinda way.  the autistic self-advocacy movement has also come up with terms like “neurotypicals” or “neurodiversity.”

then there’s the different usages within and between psychiatric disability, psychosocial disability, psychiatric survivors, mad/crazy, and mentally ill.  this gets tricky.  take, for instance, psychiatric survivors.  this category comes out of the larger movement of folks fighting against coerced psychiatric hospitalization and incarceration, mostly during the 1970s and 80s i believe (remember this is a free write, bear with me).  then there’s mad/crazy, which i’d say comes out of a separate and potentially conflicting social movement that is in flux today.  the mad pride movement stems from a lot of student activism within the past decade, and is particularly strong in canada.  mad pride might assert the use of and healthcare access to psychiatric drugs whereas the psychiatric survivor movement might place a totalizing oppositional negation onto the drugs and reject their subsequent usage.

people are alright with psychiatric disability, that’s what i personally prefer.  i also like to use the term mentally ill. lemme tell you, when i am aching in my bones from depression, i just want to shout THAT I’M MENTALLY ILL DAMMIT SO FUCK OFF and i guess it kinda feels nice to articulate that claim with a deep bitterness towards society.

but some people don’t like either of those.  they might want some person-first language, like “she lives with depression” or “she has depression.”

now we have, physical disability.  physical disability is like the neoliberal supercrip form of disability, where people are constantly overcoming themselves in order to be valued by dominant nondisabled society in any sort of humanizing way.  there’s also an interesting cultural distinction between people who are congenitally disabled, or people who were suddenly disabled.  this heuristic adds to the complexity of what it might mean to theorize a crip/disabled subjectivity.  it is also an interesting distinction in terms of disability stereotypes and the medical model of disability, where “disability” is that intrinsically deficient type of term and if you’re born with a disability it somehow pathologically makes you more “deficient” than say if you were paralyzed in a car accident or macho bar fight.

then in addition to and alongside of disability, there’s illness–or, invisible disabilities.  like incurable conditions, chronic diseases, environmental injuries, arthritis, chronic pain, strokes, scarring, and so on.

hmm.. i’m starting to think that’s about the end of this list, for now.

Cranberry the Facebook Friend

Your bagel is coming right up, he says.  It’s summertime in the Bay, after the first year of my Master’s program, and I’m a visiting student at UC Berkeley for a “Women and Disability in Film and Stories” class.  Here’s your tsea, he says.  Voice soft and elegant, a soft ‘T’ sound, pronouncing his vowels and consonants with a light lisp, not so much a distracting lisp but a soothing lisp, a T that sounds like a tz, a ts, sliding off the tongue so crisp.  Tea.  Tzea.  Earl grey.  He’s going back to the counter to get my bagel.  I ordered what I believe was an Everything bagel left in the little presentation box of pastries and whatnot.  The only bagel left.  What bagel do you think that is?  I ask him back when I was ordering at the counter.  You think it’s an Everything bagel?  He leans over from the cash register and takes a peak.  Well, he says in that elegant, crisp voice of his.  It has poppy seed, some sesame seed, yes looks like an Everything bagel.  Okay I’ll take it, I tell him.  Half awake: my head swimming from not enough sleep, and I take whatever is in front of me.  They said the soup for today is Split Pea.  Split Pea is not really my kind of soup, but Chris Lewis would have it.  Chris Lewis, my second high school sweetheart, a compassionate soul indeed.  If he were here, he would get some of that soup, maybe.  So I say no to the soup and I take the bagel because it is right there in front of me and I don’t have to think too hard about it.  No thanks to the soup.  I’ll have a bagel.  Five dollar minimum for the credit or debit cards?  My order is $4.35.  Do I order something else so I can use my card or do I maybe have enough cash in my wallet?  Oh there’s a five dollar bill in my wallet, here you go.  Do you have Wi-Fi here?  I ask him as he drops off my tzea.  No, we have no Wi-Fi, but maybe you can connect to Air Bears.  And he walks away to get my bagel.  My signal to Air Bears, the UCB internet, is very low.  Basically no connection.  Some people have Internet wherever they go on their laptops.  They’re fancy like that.  I am connected everywhere I go!  That’s what the chick at the table next to me is probably thinking.  I have Internet at this Wi-Fi-less café, wow look at me!  Fancy free!  Internet, Internet, Internet.  Why would I even want to connect to the Internet right now anyway?  World Wide Web.  I would probably check Facebook, read through my e-mails.  You know, important stuff.  Stuff that keeps me preoccupied so fucking much.  Keeps me preoccupied?  Keeps the World preoccupied!  Millions of “professionals” make a living in the U.S. and around the world sitting on their asses all day long, checking e-mails.  Check, check, checkity-check.  Oh wow I finally sent off all those emails and even responded to the emails that I’ve been meaning to respond to for weeks.  Boy I feel accomplished.  Look at all those e-mails.  Check check check.  I better not delete any of them in case something extremely rare happens and I need the information from that one random e-mail.  How should I sign my e-mails?  Something simple yet unique.  Unique!  Sincerely, Brooke.  That’s mine.  Several people write: Best, Cranberry.  Cranberry!  Where did that come from?  I’ve never met anyone named Cranberry before.

This bagel is pretty tasty.  The tzea, I don’t know yet because I haven’t tried it.  It’s probably still too hot for me.  My tongue, it gets burned by this scalding hot water.  Tea water.  So I try to be cautious because a burnt tongue means burnt taste buds and tender pained tongue muscles.  It heals quickly, I know, but I still don’t like burning my tongue.  Okay I just tried the tea, the tzea, and it’s perfect temperature.  And it’s delicious.  Earl grey.  Mmm.  I just took another drink of the perfectly temperatured delicious Earl grey tea and I held my pinky finger out while I sipped.  I’m so refined.  It happened naturally, so I didn’t try to restrain it.  Pinky out, sip the tea, I’m a natural socialite.  I should have tzea parties with Everything bagels with tsea water at just the right temperature and everyone will be happy that their host made sure not to burn them with scalding hot tea, tzea, water.  And everyone can bring their laptops or iPhones or iPads or Blackberries and we can all sit around together drinking tea and eating bagels and checking our e-mails.  I might even poke someone on Facebook when s/he is sitting right next to me in real life.  Now wouldn’t that just be super silly of me.  Get it?  I poke her/him on the World Wide Web when I could just talk to her/him in person!  Oh, the hilarity ensues.  Before I know it Cranberry over there is going to write on my Wall when I am sitting right across the room from her.  She is going to say, my Brooke this tzea is divine!  Then I will most likely “like” her comment, and then comment on her comment with an emoticon smiley face.  But then Cranberry will look up from her iPad and see that I’m not actually smiling in real life.  Then she might tag me as an untrustworthy narrator.  Or a flat-out liar.  So when she sees that I’m not actually smiling in real life, I will comment again on her comment after my initial comment with a “JK” so as to redeem myself from being a Facebook liar.  JK I’m not really smiling Facebook friend!  Facebook friend, I am not really smiling.