The 3rd Assistance Dog Blog Carnival

At long last, I welcome you to the third ADBC.

A big thank you to Sharon Wachsler. Without her, this carnival, let along this post, would not even exist. She not only did a great deal of work contacting bloggers, but also helped me get my plans in order.

There were many amazing entries from a number of bloggers. I found many brought me a fresh perspective on topics I had only previously granted passing thoughts. I am honored to host this carnival for this great group of people and I hope you will all enjoy the posts as much as I did.

I’ve separated the posts into a  few different categories. These are very loosely defined, but hopefully will be helpful.

The reactions of assistance dogs, retired dogs, puppies and non working dogs:

  • Cyndy Otty at Gentle Wit has a post about guide dogs dealing with retirement. She talks about the two guides she’s handled that are now retired, and covers the different responses they’ve had to retirement. Her post is titled Retiring Reactions.
  • Katrin, blogging at By My Side, brings us a story of James the assistance dog and his interesting experience in a zoo. Take a trip down to the post, Memory Lane.

The reactions of the general public, family and friends:

  • Kali at Brilliant Mind Broken Body has a moving post about how some folks feel entitled to the time, images and energy of assistance dogs and their handlers which looses sight of the entire reason these dogs are in public to begin with. The post, He’s not here for you is insightful and a must read.
  • L^2, writer of Dog’s Eye View, brings us Teach Them Well. I always enjoy L^2′s posts and this was no exception. The pitch prefect capture of certain obvious statements you end up hearing while out and about was a treat to read.
  • Jen, writing at Paws for Thought has written about reaction to her guide dog. Reactions to OJ was an enjoyable read and I enjoyed the contrast between the reactions of children and those of adults.
  • Kelley  who you can find at Life with Fur, brings us Dogs and family. The post is about foster puppies and I found it to be a fresh point of view.
  • Sam at Rasing Romero has posted Reactions To Romero. It’s about reactions to the puppy being raised and includes a favorite moment.
  • Andrea of  The Manor of Mixed Blessings wrote a post I wish was beamed into the heads of a grand number of ” dog people.” That informative post is Service Dog Etiquette for Dog Lovers. Due to some comments, a follow up, On Dogs and Shoes was also posted.
  •  The Pawpower Pack, writing at The Dog House, has a very unique post about along circulating myth regarding Dobermans. It is Reactions to Laveau’s Brain.

The reactions of handlers, trainers and puppy raisers:

  • Ashley at The CRPS Girl has just recently begun her partnership with her assistance dog. She writes about both of their first reactions to each other and her feelings before the match. The First Reaction: Assistance Dog Blog Carnival brought a smile to my face.
  • Patti Brehler, who writes at Plays with Puppies,  posts about meeting the new handler of the puppy she raised. I really liked the unconventional formatting of her post, REACTIONS: Meeting LD Mike’s New Handler.
  • Brooke of Ruled By Paws has a post up, Perfect For Me. It covers the choice of a school and dealing with the results of that decision.

Once again, a big thank you to everyone for submitting posts and I am very sorry about the delay on this post. Your posts lead me on a journey though so many emotions and I am grateful for all of them. We have great bunch of topics to read through and I know people will enjoy these writings.

If there is anything I’ve misinterpreted, misattributed or otherwise messed up, please don’t be afraid to comment. It’s been a wild week and I’m still not at my best.

Well, that’s a disapointment

I finally got my first ADHD medication. I was hopeful it would be helpful so I could finish things I’ve been meaning to do and it was. At least until the side effects kicked in. I couldn’t stand without becoming extremely dizzy and nauseous, but at first I thought I was just sick. I figured out today that it was the medication.

So, I’m sad. I know it’s bit silly, becuase the first medication you try doesn’t always work, but I think I was overly hopeful this would.

In other, more exciting news, I’m getting an apartment at the end of the summer with two friends. They are totally cool with Figaro, which is good, but I’m still working on how to talk to them about some disability related issues. S knows about my disabilities, but I’m not sure if G does. I do hope it will go well, becuase I adore both of them.

Working on my ableism.

Yesterday, I found out I have ADHD. It explains a lot and having a diagnosis will be some help as far as accommodations go. Knowledge is power and the more I know, the better I can help myself, but that wasn’t my first reaction.

My first reaction was that this can’t happen to me. To think that I’d always been a bit twitchy and had a short attention span, but I certainly didn’t have ADHD. I wasn’t like that. I wasn’t twitchy and hyper, with no control over myself.*

I rejected it out of hand, becuase I couldn’t be like those people, the stereotype of people with ADHD and ADD. I’ve been trying to work on my internalized ableism, but this time I failed. I failed as an advocate, even if only in my head. It just reaffirms that I have a long way to go.

On another note, having another diagnosis is starting to make my life feel a bit unreal. That makes 5 different things affecting my mind, my work, my life. I’m worried I’ll be taken as one of those Munchhausen’s by internet people. I just write about my life and this is it.

*Trust me, I know that’s an offensive stereotype and I am not saying it is valid.

My Fat.

I used to be skinny.

That was before the hardcore medication and the early puberty. I had breasts in 3rd grade and got my first period in in 5th grade. I was 9.  I didn’t want this. Things were easier when I was skinny and cute. I quit dance class, becuase you can’t be fat and be a dancer. I felt so out of place.

We got the internet when I was 10 and I found my escape there. I did a lot of forum based roleplaying and found fanfiction. My first fandom was Buffy. It was a good thing for me, although I didn’t get out much. I still read a lot, mostly from the adult portion of the library. I converted to Wicca, although now I’m mostly my own little blend of Paganism.

At least on the internet, no one judged how I looked, fat, oily and pimple covered.

Not having the internet was one of the worst parts of going to the psych ward. I had only books, which I had to ask for before I could read. Considering what happened there, I needed as much of an escape as I could get.

Puberty made the insanity worse. I was more anxious than ever, worrying about things that happened in first grade. Actaully, I still do that. My social anxiety got worse, although I still had friends, so things weren’t so bad. I spent a whole summer not leaving the house, becuase the outside was too much. I got fatter and couldn’t lose it.

The fat was at least protection from leering, looks that I didn’t understand.

I’m still fat, technically, I’m part of the obesity epidemic. People get upset when I say that. I guess it’s becuase I’m not their image of what obese is. I’m okay with being fat. My curves and hollows play with light in an interesting way.

I’ll probably never be able to lose the amount of weight that would make me acceptable, I’ve hovered around the same weight for years. I don’t foresee that changing and it feels good to make peace with it.

For the first time in my life, I am happy with my body.

What’s wrong with me?

Having disabling mental illness is interesting. Insanity is brilliant at times. Feeling like you own the world feels pretty damn good, but makes it hard to function. However, what really makes it hard is the anxiety, the gloom and anger.

I wish I was a rich eccentric and that I had fine house and servants. I could be free  in my madness. Nothing that I disliked would be in my house. I would have so many pets and I would not be alone. There would be none of those god awful lights so many stores have in them and no loud noises beyond music when I wished it.

Sadly, I’m stuck in the real world, with all of its lights and colors and noises and crowds. So many things I can’t escape. I have no choice but to live in the city, because the very thought of driving leaves me weak with fear and worry. Oh, but the crowds, they can’t be escaped and they press in on you, smothering you. People are… They are so fucking loud and pushy. Putting on a mask takes all I have. Pretend to be normal so they don’t see the animal I am. Can’t break down and yell at them to make it stop, that simply wouldn’t do. I’d be locked away again.

So, I smile and take my pills and pretend to be human, to be one of them. Some of them, the ones with a touch of madness, they seem to understand. Their friendship is a blessing, an anchor. Prehaps, one day, I’ll find someone touched with insanity as well. They won’t shy away and we’ll burn and melt together.

But, as you can see, these are all just the ravings and dreams of a complete lunatic. Prehaps now that you’ve had a glimpse, you’ll shy away as well. That’s for the best, because I tend to drag others down and I know that once you see what I am, you’ll never treat me quite the same again.

Tiny Cuts

This a repost of something I was talking about on Ravelry.com

Sometimes I feel like I and other disabled, POC, queer, female, trans and/or other minority people are dying a death caused by a million tiny cuts.

A little cut for every little joke, every time you’re told you’re too sensitive, every time you can’t speak up out of fear for your life or your job. A cut every time some looks at you with pity or hatred, or is surprised you speak so well, or tells you you’re not like the others. As soon as one cut scabs over you get another. Maybe it’s the joke you weren’t mean to hear, or the houses you or your children are no longer invited to once they get a look at you. It’s a never ending slow torture.

A million tiny cuts and we’re told not to scream.

I just want to thank Feministing.com for adding to those cuts while claiming to speak for me. You are failing as the allies you claim to be.

I’m cosigning meloukhia’s post.

Chasing normality

In all the reading and thinking about neurodiversity, mad pride and disability rights, I still have a dirty secret. I’m working on it, because the guilt is driving me mad. How can I be a good activist and ally if I can’t even think the way I ask other people to think? I’m a hypocrite.

I wish I could be normal and not have to deal with mania and depression, with panic attacks and rage. I don’t want this. I don’t want to be afraid to leave my house or to want to kill my self. I don’t enjoy being sick.

Hell, I’ve used the benefits and yes, they are good, but sometimes, I’d rather lose them and just be an ordinary girl. Maybe I wouldn’t have the bouts of creativity and insight, but I just might stop scaring people off. I might lose my ability to read really fast, but maybe I’d have a boyfriend or girlfriend and I wouldn’t freak out if the restaurant zie took me to had the bad kind of lighting. I might be able to go to a party and not take constant breaks, maybe even stay downstairs during Thanksgiving.

However, I think I’d miss the bits that make me myself. I’ve been this way for so long, I’m not sure what normal is. Is normal having a 9 to 5 job where I sit in an office all day banging away on a keyboard? Is it settling down and popping out some kids? I don’t know, but I shouldn’t dream, because I never will have normal and I think I’m coming to a point where I can be okay with that.

I feel I should already be okay with it, considering I accept the broad range of humanity in others, but I have a hard time accepting it in myself. I suppose I just have to work at it because I know intellectually that normal does not equal better, but I’m not there subconsciously, yet. I suppose I’ll just keep working on it.

So, if I have any readers, can you tell me if you struggle with this?

About the blog name

I chose The Trouble Is for many reasons.

I added trouble to my family’s life. They were expecting a normal little girl and instead, they got me. I’ve adding plenty of trouble to their lives.

I don’t fit in any boxes, so I cause trouble for people who want to fence me in. I’m unapologetic about who I am. I make you uncomfortable for living my life the way I do? Too bad. I’m not ashamed of who I am.

I cause trouble for the genral public, becuase I call people out on their shit.

All around, I’m just troublesome.