I got called a Social Justice Warrior, and not in a good way

Content warning: transgender issues, bathroom rights, possibly unpopular opinions.
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Hello readers, as we wrap up 2019, I thought I’d write a short post (I can’t make long stories short, but I’ll try) about a series of unfortunate events that had taken place over the last twenty-four hours. While I won’t detail the exact nature of the events or reveal people’s names and genders to protect the privacy of those involved, and thus not risking libel, slander, or defammation of character, I will just write out some of my beliefs to set things straight.
As y’all probably know, I am pretty active in social justice causes, particularly relating to disability and LGBTQ2SIA+ rights. I am working hard to publish my debut novel which features a transgender person and an autistic person in a Latine family. Somebody told me that someone with a disability in a Hispanic family is often swept under the rug. I think saying that is a great eyecatcher when pitching or querying publishers and agents. I wrote these things out of the belief that we need more books about experiences of disability within marginalised communities. Also, I am really thankful that someone was able to articulate the circumstances so well that it inspired me to retitle my autobiography. It’ll now be called, Finding my Voice: A Memoir. before, it was just called My Autobiography, which is a pretty darn boring title, if you ask me. I wrote it in 2013 when I was at the transitional programme at the request of my former vision teacher. I think he wanted to show things about me to some people he was reaching out to after he had won his litigation against his employer.
Back in July of this year, on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1969 moon-landing, someone showed me a recording made by Neil Armstrong. I have actually been ramping up to this by watching the realtime player on Apollo XI’s web site. It was actually during the time that I was at the second Catalyst retreat when I was sent a Whatsapp message, so I played it. Actually, now that I think about it, I think this person and I had a conversation about that before they sent me the message. Anyway, I told this person that I although I liked the recording, I wish Neil Armstrong had used a more inclusive phrase to refer to everyone equally. That’s why I was delighted when I got an E-mail by Pete Buttigiege saying One giant leap for humanity. He articulated very well what I was getting at. I thought about how the recording could be edited. We could splice out the word hue from Houston, take an instance of the word man, and find an instance of the word ity or nity, and then concatenate those phonemes together. Researchers did something like this recently to deliver JFK’s unspoken speech. I don’t know what Neil would say instead of saying One small step for man. Maybe One small step for ME?
Anyway, I have been a little impatient and irritable towards this person, but I think this has been brewing for quite some time due to an unrelated thing, so my message to them might have sounded a little harsher than it was meant to be. Anyway, this person doesn’t have the intellectual capacity for their age, and their perception and reasoning were so flawed that, when they later relayed the situation to one of their friends, that person’s perception of me became largely skewed, and it led them to jump to conclusions about me and saying that I was a selfish and demanding person. Interestingly, this person isn’t probably aware how demanding they could be as well. It may have been because I might’ve accidentally triggered a flashback of a previous experience they’ve had with me or someone else. I noticed some hypocracy on their part because they said that they supported Martin Luther King Jr’s speech, and they had no problems with my being transgender, although they were unsympathetic to my gender dysphoria, and they helped me come up with ways to help my brother, so it really didn’t make sense why they would be making such a big deal out of what a friend told them about me. I also didn’t like it how they talked about me behind my back, but when I threatened to take action against them, my other friend advised me not to because they most likely did it out of fear, and they needed somebody to vent. I felt extremely vindictive towards them when I found out that they had relayed that argument, plus another one, to their friend and only made them believe their version of the story.
So, a month later, after asking if I could be part of a Whatsapp group this person was in, I learned that their friend had developed a strong dislike for me because I was an SJW. I did the best I could to defend myself against these accusations, and I even forwarded some of the messages to my other friend to advise both me and the other person. I know some people won’t often give you the time of day to be put into the crossfire between two or more opposing parties and try to act as the go-between and remain diplomatic, so I am really thankful that so far, they kept standing up for me, for things often happened because my intentions were misunderstood a few times. One of the opposing parties even asked the other person to urge this person to ditch me, but it didn’t work, which I’ll explain later.
We have this norm in our transgender community choir, Transpose. It says Assume best intentions. It simply means that if you say or do something you think or feels right, but other people might not agree with it, or it gets construed in a totally different manner and leads to an undesired outcome you weren’t expecting, rather than argue about it and putting you on the spot, assume that you meant well because everyone has their own experiences and walks of life having multiple narratives, and then try to edify you so that you can try and articulate what you were saying or doing better.
Also, our choir recently started mingling with non-trans-choirs, so our director made a speech about what pronouns are, how to use them, when to practice them, and why they’re important. They also referred us to this web site to get more information, including how to use gender inclusive language.
The most important thing about using someone’s correct pronouns is that it should never be based on assumption of how someone presents. Their presentation may be a byproduct of design, or it may be due to circumstances, but that is in no way an excuse to assume that they like being called this pronoun or that pronoun. Using someone’s correct pronouns honours and affirms the person you are talking to and about, even if they’re not around. Here’s a good example of this. A couple days ago, I was having a conversation with someone who is blind and who ended up misgendering someone at a store by saying, ‘Thank you, sir’, and only using the person’s voice to cue them. That person pointed to their name tag, but since they couldn’t see it until someone had pointed it out, they were totally flustered. The person in question was probably not allowed to verbally contradict the customer, since the customer is always right. That brought up some rampant transphobic comments and a heated debate about how transgender people ought to conform to societal expectations of what is more male-like, more female-like, etc. Someone said that they went into a women’s bathroom, and they heard someone walk in, go standing up, which makes a different sound, and probably engaged in a deep vocal hygiene which made that person feel very uncomfortable. While I understood their concerns, I, as a transgender person myself, refuse to use the bathroom that does not match my gender identity. At the same time, I don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable by using a bathroom that I want to use, but for which my expression or functions don’t match what is expected. I said, in reply to that person, that some transgender people can’t afford to get all the medical procedures needed to pass, but there were some basic things that could be done to pass more reasonably, like shaving, sitting down, and talking in a higher voice. That person responded by saying that it wasn’t very nice for me to define how transgender people should conform, especially since not all of them choose to go through all those medical procedures even if they could afford it. So, it wasn’t just about whether they could help how they functioned. However, my reason for saying this was because I didn’t want more transgender people getting hurt by transphobic cisgender people. Besides, many trans and nonbinary people want to eschew from traditional gender roles, but there are still a few that actually want to do everything they can to look, feel, and sound the way they were meant to be. So, who is to blame, society for not wanting to accept and accommodate trans-people, or is it the trans-people’s fault for not making enough of an effort to pass? Is it a little bit of both, neither, or something else? And, even though we have more single-person and family bathrooms, many of them remain locked to deter illegal activity, so this can be problematic if you have to constantly request the business to unlock if for you every time. This is especially true for places that have men’s and women’s bathrooms in addition to that, and I wish I didn’t have to explain myself every time about why I only chose to use the gender neutral bathrooms that they always kept locked.
In 2016, I was on Facebook, and we were arguing about why nonbinary gender markers should be recognised. I told them that I was transgender, and that I preferred they-them pronouns. Someone asked, Why don’t you just transition to female instead of having to go through all this trouble? While I do relate more with a female gender, I also recognise that because of my gender presentation, people may feel uncomfortable calling someone who doesn’t look female enough she. So, that’s why I always give folx the option to use they pronouns instead, if that would make them feel more comfortable. Believe me, I would do anything I could to fully transition, but as long as I’m living in the current unsupportive environment, I can’t fully transition yet.
Sex segregation has always been prominent despite successful attempts at ending other types of segregation. So, when I use the bathroom, I put a sign covering up the men and women signs that has all gender written on it. Or I will simply use a gender-neutral bathroom, if one exists. It is definitely a ligitimate concern that women are seeking protection from so-called transvestites and cross-dressers who may potentially be rapists, and I don’t blame them for that. So, what can be done so that we can find a middle ground?
Anyway, I recently published one of my books on Smashwords and KDP, which includes both paperback and Kindle editions. It is about what it is like to go on a plane for the first time, written from a blind and hard-of-hearing person’s point of view. It’ll also be available on ACX, Bookshare, and Learning Ally soon. I’m not sure about BARD, though. When I told the person who I’ve talked to before, they thought I was starting to shove social justice down their throat again, and the situation quickly escalated to its zenith. Then, through certain means which I will not detail here, I learned that the person’s friend has judged me unfairly and falsely concluded that I was like all SJWs and said that words like he, male, man, were pretty much bad words in SJW culture. Some of them even replaced words that naturally began with those prefixes with female versions of those words. For example, if you said history, they would replace the his part with hers to make herstory. Others replaced the word dic with tit.
They thought that although actual social justice and equality causes back then were important to stop black people from being lynched, and why laws exist against discriminating against people with disabilities, today’s SJWs are often viewed as victims or heroic fighters for causes that have already been dealt with, so they make up reasons for why things are sexist, genderist, racist, etc when they’re not. Well, I could just as well turn that around and say that today’s anti-SJWs make up reasons for why something isn’t racist, genderist, sexist, etc. when it really is. However, I don’t have too much of a say on racism since I view everything scientifically. And, as such, I prefer to think of them as ancestry or lineage and separate that from cultural identity or place of national origin.
They said that SJWs often viewed white men as being a sin. This person accused me of being tyrannical about how people talked, like why we said things such as oh man, oh boy, oh brother, ladies and gentleman, etc. I mean, yes, I do get offended by using male-default terms and gender-exclusive language, but it doesn’t necessarily mean what this person thinks it means. I also do my best to avoid wirds with gendered connotations, like actors and actresses. Of course, they couldn’t help thinking that because they didn’t know my backstory.
I don’t believe in replacing every single gendered word with neutral ones unless the word itself connoted that only a certain group of people did it. For example, I don’t like the term man-made, manpower, or unmanned, unless you were specifically referring to men who did those things. Similarly, some terms like handiman and marksmanship etc. are occupational titles traditionally done by males. I’m not trying to erase the existence of masculinity, but I’m simply wanting us to use more gender-neutral words when referring to people whom we do not know or are unsure of. For example, if you were talking about how there was a lot of activity done by men, then saying man-made is fine. But if you don’t know who was behind it, then it would be better to say human-made. I have started replacing things like royal noble titles with portmanteaus such as quing, princet, etc. Some people prefer to use generic terms such as monarch, ruler, and heir, though.

It is important to recognise appropriation vs appreciation, and that as long as you are educated and are aware of the history of the words you use, along with being mindful about respecting people who those terms are originated by, then you are fine.

Another thing they said about SJW cults is that they have their own motto, The future is female. Imagine the outcry that would follow if people said The future is male. Ugh! I can’t stand hardcore feminism. It annoys me that people try and act like the lives of women and black people are more important than other peoples’. I mean, it’s important, yes, but it’s not more important. There is a difference. No one is above the law. That’s why I believe in the All lives matter movement. Still, police brutality has always been a problem since slavery was outlawed, and if someone were to tell me that all lives don’t matter until black lives matter first, then I would be inclined to support that. We need to still hold those accountable for killing unarmed B/black people, and we also need to acknowledge the struggles, pain, and suffering that B/black people go through on a daily basis. Ignoring that in favour of umbrella peace statements would imply that you don’t care about them, which would actually cause more harm than good. It’s like the concept of two wrongs don’t make a right.
So, is it really social justice, or is it a sophisticated form of social vengeance? I remember a friend telling me back in 2015 that they almost couldn’t get through reading an article in English class written by a feminist. They said that feminists only did things to help white women, so it took another movement of black women to get them to care about them, as well. Anyway, both groups essentially said the same thing, that they thought all men were evil, and that they wanted all men to die. That’s why I believe in egalitarianism, equalism, or neutralism. These terms are much better than masculism and feminism.
Somebody said,

From my experience from working women and under female management, women DO NOT make good leaders. From my observations, women WILL do whatever it takes to get to the top without actually doing any real work, including sleeping with their male colleagues. *I don’t know about those who are lesbians or whatever.* Many women can be just as aggressive, even more so than men. As a woman, you have to dress well, make yourself up to the nines, show off them curves, if you hav them to show off, as well as some cleavage. Yes? No. Not me. I am a hard worker, a ‘plain Jane’ warts and all type. What you see is what you get. I am a little more than overweight, which is commensurate with my age. My glasses and outfits say how I feel. And I do not care. I am big enough and ugly enough to know that face will not fit in many companies because I am not glamorous. I am attractive enough but not attractive enough to others. But again, I do not care. I would never be a leader in any given situation due to my honesty, frankness and temperament. I am vocal, too. The binary ‘in power’ do not like that. But I do not care. The gender binary will always compete against each other, and both of them will use dangerous tactics to get to where they want to be. Men will indeed use their dicks; women, their breasts. *So, a transgender, intersex, or nonbinary person who has both a dick and breasts? Where do they fit in?* Where leaders are concerned it takes a real human being – male, female, or two-spirit or whatever – to genuinely hav what it takes, to obtain the respect, love and trust of the people, rather than use and spit people out once they are done with them. Transgender folks should have the right to take hormones, and parents should not gender their child based on the genitalia they saw on the ultrasound. They should be supportive, not vindictive or unaccepting.

What are these women comparing their idea of a glamourous image to? Obviously, women are measuring themselves up to something within the fashion industry. Humans come in all forms, shapes, and sizes. We need masculine, feminine, and neutral energy to run a society like this. That’s why Native Americans and Eastern cultures favoured two-spirit people because they saw all sides of the world, not just one side.
Anyhow, this person wondered if my being in social justice causes has made me disenchanted, like I have been brainwashed in some way, like how cults do using coersive power. I don’t think so, especially since I have pretty good reasons for doing what I do.
The problem is that each social justice movement is selfish in a way that only rewards the people in it and only focuses on them in the current moment rather than devise a plan to help future generations. In my case, though, I’m just helping those who are non-binary because it is a ligitimate concern. I believe that they should be fully integrated in all aspects of society, and that also means respecting their language. The percent of nonbinary people having jobs is extremely low. I mean, can you imagine someone walking in, looking like a man, but wearing a skirt and a bra, and talking in a high voice?
This is the truth. I do not hate men. I hate men who think females and non-binary people are worthless. I’m actually advocating for Pete Buttigiege, because even if we didn’t elect a female president by 2020, at least he’d be a lot more caring and sympathetic about females, being gay himself. Still, people are like, Oh, you shouldn’t vote for him just because he’s gay.
I know I said at one point that we should start a Female President Now campaign, which would be like the Deaf President Now campaign of 1987, but that was before I learned about Pete. Maybe what needs to happen is that we need more minorities to become president, such as those who are Hispanic or Latine, female, or even blind. I don’t believe in suppressing free speech unless it was really legitimate. Free speech does have it consequences. That’s why there are laws against hate crimes, as well, but unfortunately, I don’t think there aren’t any for people who make verbal and ableist, transphobic, racist, etc harassments towards someone. And yes, it’s true that I do hate people who disagree with me, but only if they disagree with me disrespectfully. If we simply agreed to disagree, then I wouldn’t hate them because they were still being respectful and supportive of my opinion.
I guess the reason SJWs have gained such a bad reputation was because of the whole thing with Brie Larson and Hiliary Clinton, and how the media kept forcing political correctness down people’s throats 24/7. They probably dislike me for being involved with social justice, but my reasons for being in it are different from the ones they despise. In fact, one of my former friends was previously involved in a justice choir until they were told that, because they were blind, it would be a burden or liability for them to keep transporting them to and from rehearsals every week. The problem is that so many justice choirs say that they want diversity, but somehow disability and blindness are not exactly in their agenda, so that would actually make them look hypocritical. They don’t practise what they preach. They think it would be too expensive to transcribe everything to Braille and do all of these access needs for just one person who may or may not be proven worthy of adding usefulness to the choir. Our choir was fortunate to utilise a spreadsheet that we could all use to offer mutual aid and give each other rides and stuff to rehearsals and other events because that allows us to build community.
Here’s a question I asked on Quora. I thought the person’s answer sort of explained the reason for why this person probably disliked me so much. They have been misguided and misled by hearsay information, and probably because of past experience. Some of them told me that they didn’t bother watching the news because of all the bullshit that went on.
Also, the other reason I am very passionate about social justice is because, as a blind and hard-of-hearing person, I’ve found that you can often get support if you have one disability or the other, but not both. That’s why I said in my author biography that intersectionality is important. If you’ve read my posts about what my brother and I have gone through because of our father and mother, and what lengths I’ve gone to advocate for him, then it’ll probably show that I’m a great person. If I didn’t care about social justice, I probably wouldn’t have helped my brother as much as I had. If the people who bully me and criticise me for the stupidest things (like not advocating or speaking up for myself) knew my past, I’ll bet you they would’ve had thought twice about doing that. And, while I don’t wish this upon anyone, if that had happened to anybody, and they were D/deaf-blind and in a Spanish-speaking family, I don’t know how they would have learnt social customs.
So anyway, this friend of mine has been extremely helpful. They were able to plead my case and use that as a basis to explain why they still remained my friend even after all that had happened. I need more friends who feel that mediation and arbitration come easily to them. I wish more people knew how to use peer counselling. We often hear about taking care of yourself in the transgender community, but we often get so lost in it that we forget that we also need community care as well. I once asked, what can a professional counsellor, psychologist, therapist, etc do that a friend cannot do? Friends often mean well but often give you their unwise piece of advice. Of course, it would be unethical to require professionals to go through those experiences to relate, but it would at least help knowing from the patient’s perspective what they were going through.
So anyway, I recently read some books by Marilyn Reynolds in which one of the featured classes is Peer Communications. They say that the best way to communicate is to avoid saying things like You always or you never. No put-downs, and use I statements whenever possible. So, if you have to talk to someone and do it in a way that won’t fuel the fire to make it worse, then make it seem as though you are an ally to that person, so that the information you’ll be providing would be more tolerable. Then you can explain what you want afterword. The important thing is to emphasise things that’ll make the person feel so bad that they’ll realise that they’ve been being unfair and unsympathetic because they didn’t know about the circumstances. Like for instance, it is true that I never fought back when my brother bit me more than one time. I mostly struggled to run away from him. So, whenever he bumps into me, I quickly run away from him to avoid that happening to me. So, they are basically hurting a defenseless person, but I hate to think myself as one, because I’m constantly fighting to find my voice. My personality sort of fits that of Cinderella, who did not gripe. You can actually read about this on Broad Blogs.
So yeah, in the end, I don’t know if I’ll get back together or not, especially since I’ve been friends with this person since 2010. We did have a similar issue back in 2014, and we didn’t speak for almost two years, but we reconnected again. Deep down, I will always care about this person, because I have always stood up for them when no one else would. I don’t think they thought about that when they made the hasty decision to ditch me. I know that I have helped out this person quite a lot, even when they had been taking advantage of me many times and often not giving me things in return, but I did the best I could at the time. So, knowing that I won’t be their friend for a second time will leave me with a guilt so profound that I don’t know if I’ll ever get over. For the rest of my life, I’ll keep thinking about how I haven’t tried hard enough to explain my intentions. Maybe I should think about how I don’t have to worry about their constant haranguing, or the repetitive things they said and did on a daily basis. They told my friend that they just couldn’t be my friend anymore because we were just too different, and that we clashed on a lot of things. I somewhat agreed with them about that, but we also had common interests, and I tried to use that to leverage some of their excentricities so that they would stop pestering me into doing things I didn’t feel like doing. Still, they made me promise to be friends forever, but they thought it was perfectly fine to end the friendship. I don’t think that was very ethical.
However, I learned of something that might make me feel a little better. I heard long ago that sometimes doing a secret good deed to help someone might make you feel better, and it makes the person feel better, even if they didn’t know who was behind it, but knowing that it got good results is enough to be greatly rewarding. So, if my friend and I agree to do something, I’ll probably donate a small amount to begin with, because I don’t want this person to have a miserable life.
Anyhow, I hope y’all understand now where I’m coming from. I look forward to getting my memoir published!

Resolutions

Well, it’s that time of the year again. The weather is getting colder, the holiday season has officially started, and the time for reconciliation is more important than ever as we approach a new decade.
I thought I’d finish what one of my friends was trying to post on here regarding finding your identity, and making people respect that, not only for moral or ethical reasons, but also on a legal one, as well. I have had a bit of issues with this, but not nearly as much, at least not yet, anyway.
First of all, I believe that we have grown accustomed to naming and giving our kids an identity based on what their personality or physique reminds of of. No doubt we do the same with our pets. We automatically give them names that will remain with them for life, or until, if it is a human, or a pet who is smart enough to know that they like a different name and refuse to come to you when you call them by that name, they would have an opportunity to redefine their identity later.
Also, I want to emphasise that nobody here asked to be brught into this world. That’s why it is important that we not disown them or make their lives harder just for being themselves. Our parents brought us here, and their parents brought our parents here, and so on and so forth. How many people have said to themselves or others, I never wanted to be here? I’m sure we’ve been down that road. I know I have. That’s why I wrote my testimony.
I never asked to be brought into the world. I never asked to be born with a condition that would cost me my eyesight, and later, most of my hearing. I never asked to be put into conditions I have no control over now. I never asked to be dealt these cards. But, thanks to how things turned out, and thanks to the direction my life had taken, I am still living at home with an older brother who has fought for control of self-determination, and several legal battles to attend. I could’ve gone to college when I was just out of high school, but nobody told me things I was going to come across until it was too late. But, because I am being civily disobedient, I refuse to do anything with school until the situation has been remedied.
However, there are some things I will not change about myself. I am proud of having discovered who I am, who I should’ve been born as, how I should’ve been addressed all my life, and what things I should’ve had a long time ago. The only problem is that a lot of people assume that I wasn’t born that way, I just chose to be that way and put on this persona that isn’t really me, that I am just pretending. No, I am not pretending at all. This is the true, real me. I had to grow up and grow into a new body, mind and spirit. Is it called coming out of the cupboard? Is it like coming out of one’s shell? Maybe it’s more about coming into something, finding your true name. Have you heard of people who rechristen their crafts to improve their luck? That’s how it is for me. I rechristened myself. I gave myself the identity that was so erroneously shoved onto me by what my parents thought was appropriate for me at the time. I got rid of the identity that was associated with negative memories and had trauma and abuse attached to it. I can’t say that I grew out of it, though, because it would imply that I liked it, but I decided later that it wasn’t for me.
However, when people look at me, they don’t see the real me. They see someone who they automatically perceive to be masculine. That is not how I want to be perceived, but I can’t help the way I look. And, while I cannot see how I look, I would imagine that it would look as if I were seeing a stranger in a Photograph. Tom Henrik. Someone told me, long ago, I was broken and it stuck. Strong Enough by Bobby Joe Valentine.
I have been asked by people in the LGBTQIA+ community why, if I don’t like being called male pronouns, do I not transition to a female binary gender? Well, I chose to legally recognise my gender as nonbinary because I think it is easier for me to look androgynous. If I could look more female, I would do it in a heartbeat. But, this is what I have to work with. That’s why, more than ever, I want these groundbreaking procedures to reach clinical trials by the 2020’s. We don’t have to be defined by anybody else. Fractal, by Kim Boekbinder.
So, it’s a bitter pill to swallow, and it’s one I have to swallow almost every day. What can I do to reduce the potency of this pill? What switches would I need to flick so that I wouldn’t have to deal with this any more? What can I do if I find somebody who says to me, I don’t care what your birth certificate, court order, ID, etc says. I’ve made up my mind and you can’t change it. I’ll call you by whatever I feel like calling you. That hasn’t happened to me yet, but I still wonder….
I heard that in some places, you can get your birth certificate changed at the administrative level without having to go to court and potentially publishing your name change in the newspaper or anywhere else. The only thing you would’ve needed was a doctor’s note or a note from a sworn health authority that affirmed your gender identity. Quite a few states are starting to legally recognise third gender markers, but the federal government is not yet one of them. But, that’s one of the things I like about the professional world. When you change your name, they will go back and update everything and make it look as if you were always that name. This doesn’t happen everywhere. For example, baptism registries will still have your old name. If you were written about in the media (good or bad) those will still have your old name. The sad news is that they have no legal obligation for them to update it.
Unfortunately, I was told that there may be certain entities that will not accept a birth certificate as proof of name change. I mean, you could say, Well, who can argue the validity of the certificate? You can’t argue with a doctor. Similarly, you can’t argue with a lawyer or judge, especially if they have PH.Ds. It is official as it gets. However, I was lucky in that Oregon has amended a statute that wouldn’t require you to go to a hearing or publish the name change in the newspaper. All I needed to do was attest that I was going through surgical, hormonal, or other treatment for the purposes of affirming gender identity. That resulted in the judge ordering that my old name be replaced with my new legal name… the name I’ve always wanted and should’ve had, as well as legally recognising me as gender nonbinary. The judge also ordered the court records to be sealed, so that nobody could access them. Not everybody was so lucky. There is a judge here in Oregon who is refusing to issue gender nonbinary markers, of which several amici curiae briefs have been prepared by Basic Rights Oregon and American Civil Liberties Union.
Anyway, I have thought hard about what I should do now that I have a key to unlock many locks. Could I use it in a situation where someone insists on Deadnaming or misgendering me? I found this Quora post to be pretty interesting. My therapist said that I should not jump to the big things, but rather, think on a micro-level scale first before going to the macro-level. For example, should I sue someone just because they called me sir or man? Why not see if they are willing to listen and be trained accordingly?
Because of my hearing loss, I have a greater tendency to sound more masculine when I talk on the phone, but sometimes I am called madamme and I always feel warm and fuzzy when they do. Of course, it’s hard to do that in person, unless the person I was talking to was completely blind. This actually happened to me a few months ago when I went to a retreat. Someone addressed me as lady, girl, and possibly something else, and oh my gosh! How I loved it when they did!!!
I would like to detail two situations, both good and bad, in which I was able to redirect the conversation. In the first situation, I went to accompany the majority of the of a group participants to an activity, and I met somebody there who remembered me from my O&M days. Of course, I didn’t know anything about them. So, when they asked me what my name was, I gave them my new, legal name. Sometime later, they asked me if I knew Deadname. I was, like, huh? Did I hear you aright? I asked them to repeat the question. I said that I didn’t know anyone with that name. They were, like, ‘Oh, well, he was in your group, too.’ I felt so happy when that person couldn’t associate me with that name.
A few days later, my mum and I went somewhere. One thing to note, however, was that I have estranged from certain family members and relatives. I do not want them to know about my legal name change until after I had moved out, and I am a long distance away from them. Therefore, when we went to this place, she had informed the staff what my name was. Only, of course, she didn’t know that I had legally changed it. Instead she gave them my Deadname. So, when I got home and saw the E-mails I have requested, they all bore my old legal name. So, I wrote back and attached the court order to prove to them that I no longer used that name.
Oh, and one more situation that I didn’t remember until now: I have had a bit of a problem changing my name with Experian and CreditKarma because I have been getting correspondences from them under my old name. So, I called my LegalShield provider firm and told them the situation. They were able to write up a letter, and we heard back from them, and they sent me a new credit report with my new legal name on it.
Now, it’s a matter of fact before I need to let other people know. For instance, if my mother writes a will, she may use my old legal name. But I think it should be okay if I still have a copy of the court order and birth certificate that show my old and new legal name.

Basically, because I’ve worked so hard on this name change, I call it a transition more than anything because this represented a sort of self discovery and me finding out who I really was, rather than something a small amount of closed-minded people said that what they refer me as is what they think I am and what they think I should be.
That’s how little and how unfavourably and how disconnected I was to that name. I didn’t feel like me. Of course, when I filled out the paperwork, I had to give a more compelling reason because I knew that just saying I didn’t like it, while it may or might not have been sufficient, to me to just simply say I didn’t like it as a reason wasn’t good enough in terms of effort. I’m sure most judges would accept ‘because I just don’t like it’ as a reason, but I wanted the judge to have some sympathy for me as far as the fact that, in most states, in order to change your name, you need to publish your intentions in a newspaper. Being forced to publish that in the newspaper would’ve jeopardised my safety, as I would’ve had to give them so much personal information, it’s unreal. All digressing aside, I’m glad I’m part of a protected group. I used the fact that we still live in a world where it’s still unsafe to be LGBT, and the judge basically waived all fees, waived my requirement to publish my name change and even sealed my case after it was all done, and after a while those case documents get destroyed.
With me, though, I don’t think I have much a case to sue anyone for disrespecting my name choice because, although I’m LGBT (being that I’m gay) I’m” not trans or gender queer or non binary so I can’t really use that as a cause of action, as I went from one name to another for the same gender.
But I digress. I was this 15 or 16 year old who wrote songs about coming out in my own identity, but I didn’t even know what the hell it meant to have an identity, let alone what it meant to come into my own! Now I see what it really means to have an identity and to come into your own. I look at it like this, and this may make me very unpopular in the LGBT community, maybe even hated, but why should I come out of the closet? It seems so inauthentic and like I’m drawing too much attention to myself. The way I see it, if someone asks me, ‘Am I out?’ we should just say, ‘Out? Out of where? I’m in, I came into my own.’ What do I need to come out from under, and why should I come out of a closet I never knew I was even supposed to be in in the first place!

F.C. So, Show me love on this living planet. Emma’s Revolution and Hundred Waters.
Those are some snippets of stuff one of my friends had written. Basically, no matter whether you are transgender, gender nonbinary, or gender nonconforming, or even someone who is not in the LGBTQIA+ community, you would still be going through a transition. I think the word transition should not only be used to refer to people who change from one gender identity to another, but to anyone who changes any aspect of their life in a significant way.
Therefore, if and when I have children, I will try to give them gender-neutral identities and refer to them as my child, and have them call me by portmanteaus of parent, mother, father, mum, dad, aunt, aunkle, niece, nephew, etc. Or, I can just have them call me by my first name, or an entirely made-up name or something in a different language. When they’re old enough to the point they start talking, I’ll have an initial conversation about whether they like their identity. I’ll have this conversation with them periodically at each milestone they complete. I want them to realise that they can’t rely on me to define who they are. They need to live their lives for themselves. I’ll be like, ‘Do you like your name? Do you like being called these pronouns?’ If they say yes, that’s great. If they say no, then we’ll have a discusson on how we can address the problem, so that they won’t have to go through what I, and so many others, had to go through.
So, together we’ll shout it out like a bird set free. Sia. Though the world may be cold and bitter, and we may be delicate and bruised, we will neither be destroyed nor our roots be pulled. Witch Hazel by Tom Gala. And believe me, We’re all scared. We must learn to help one another through these times and do whatever we can to uplift one another.
So, Now that I’ve about covered nearly all my past history since the last time I’ve posted in 2014 to 2019, I wanted to talk a little more about some of the mysteries of the brain based on some new experiences I’ve had and information I’ve gathered. Starting in the new year, I will talk about some interesting things that might bring us closer to winning a long-fought war.

A Message To The Gay Community: It’s Time To Face The Truth

I’d like to talk to you about something that not a lot of people seem to want to talk about these days. Perhaps this topic is too touchy for many people, or maybe most people are so ashamed of opening up that they choose not to say anything. Maybe they’re too scared of rocking the boat and hurting someone’s feelings. It’s a tale as old as time and I’d like to bring awareness to it.
First off a little bit about me. I’ve got a mental illness, aka mental disability, aka an invisible disability. I also have a vision impairment which is a physical disability. My mental illness or mental disability stems from abuse I’ve suffered as a child and into most of my youth, and it has traumatised me greatly to the point where I’ve felt like a lot of times I just wanted to end it all. Some of my trauma comes from the gay community and judgement towards me. It even got worse to the point where I was raped by a man. When I try to tell others about it, I’m told to just shut up and get over it because society tells a man we’re not supposed to show emotions or feelings, we’re not supposed to cry because that makes us sissies and wimps. I’ve been told by several gay men that I need to get over myself because if I don’t, nobody will ever love me. I’ve also been told that my refusing to put out makes me unworthy and undesirable. It’s honestly really quite sad that the gay community likes to use this mantra of promoting anti-bullying and anti-judgement and they whine and cry about how everyone bullied them for being gay and life is so hard because you’re gay. What people don’t seem to realise is that behind all of that are a community full of massive hypocrites, a community of people who preach against bullying under the guise of a rainbow coloured flag, but then do something completely different.
It’s really sad how a group of people can publically detest bullying and homophobia, but when nobody’s around they do the very thing they publically rally against. They bully and judge and make fun of and belittle and demean their own. That’s called internalised abuse. The sad thing is that anyone can put on a facade of being sweet and innocent. Politicians do it, celebrities do it, and high profile members of the gay community are certainly no exception to the rule. It’s all part of one huge scheme to put on the biggest and best most elaborate Broadway performance the world has ever seen. It’s all so amazing when you’re onstage and you portray to the audience exactly what you want them to see, but I’m here to tell you it’s all an act so nobody can see what goes on behind closed doors. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the gay community have some genuine and kindhearted people, but that’s not the case for the majority of this community, I’m sorry to say.
I’d like to stress that for those of us in the gay community that have been truly bullied and felt judged or alone or criticised, I get it. I really, really do get it. I understand it more than you might think I do. I don’t just have homosexuality going against me. I have a physical disability as well as mental ones so that’s a tripple wammy… three characteristics that intersect with one another. However, we need to stop fooling ourselves. We need to wake up and face the truth. The gay community is filled with imperfect people and we need to stop portraying ourselves as perfect little innocent angels, because while we may have been wronged many times throughout history by those outside of the gay or LGBT+ community, the infuriating truth of the matter is that we’re worse to each other. We judge one another, we bully one another, we make fun of one another and so on and so forth. Why am I saying all of this? Because I have first-hand experience of being judged by my own community. You know, the one that always loves to preach love and tolerance over hate, but then turns around and makes fun of my weight, or makes fun of the fact I’ve a mental disability and even makes fun of the fact I’ve a physical impairment–being my lack of vision. Or the fact that my own community deems me as being unworthy of love and unattractive simply because there are certain things I don’t like to do sexually not only because of the fact I was raped, but because I honestly don’t like those certain things, as well as the fact that I have high morals and I’m not just going to put out because you want me to. If we want real change to happen, the biggest thing we can do to make it happen is start from within and then move outwards.

 

What happened to me? The Agony of my Recovery

If you remember from my testimony, I told you that I am living with a very finnicky brother who doesn’t like certain people if they give off negative vibes, doesn’t like using public bathrooms, and hates boarding other people’s cars, though he doesn’t mind boarding busses. I’d like to talk a little bit about one of his best, and probably only positive experience, that my brother has ever had in school. If I upload the court case audio recordings that relate to it, all the parties identities will be posted for everyone to see and hear. This wonderful man was a teacher of the visually impaired for my brother and me. He was the one who had sued the North-West Regional Education Service District in July 2012. While litigation originally commenced in 2011, the actual trial was held a year later. I purchased the court records from the courthouse on Monday, 5 March 2018. He previously lost his vision for about two years, but a cornea transplant had restored his sight. Then he met somebody else who was blind, and it interested him. He took up music, journalism, and something else I can’t remember while he was in school. When he went to study at Community College, he helped a student who was blind get through chemistry, because the professors were claiming that a blind person wouldn’t be able to take that class. After that, he moved out of state where he married and adopted three kids. He and his wife applied to become foster parents, and over the next five years, they adopted fifteen foster kids, mostly kids with developmental disabilities caused by drug use during pregnancy, and others due to brain trauma. They kept the last child because they had reactive attachment disorder, and they wanted to give that child a good home so they wouldn’t feel so abandoned. Losing his job with the regional education service district really put a toll on his family, especially this child, according to court records.
Anyhow, he had an opportunity to come back to Oregon to work at the Oregon School for the Blind in 2008, and he learned that the legislature was planning to shut the school down because they were claiming that there were only twenty or thirty students going at a time. He and the rest of the OSB staff testified at a few hearings, trying to convince the legislature not to shut the school down unless they had a plan on how to transition these kids and help the rest of the students, even if they never attended the school in the first place. All the things they had told the legislative members fell on deaf ears, and the staff eventually looked for employment elsewhere. To try and make the long story short, this teacher was asked by the vision service coordinator to work at the ESD in Fall of 2009. When he arrived, he was given a caseload containing eight or fifteen students, I can’t remember how many. He asked which city or county he was to be working, but all his supervisor said was that he was to be working around 185th. That didn’t make any sense, so he asked specifically where he was to be working. They finally provided clarification, and he started working accordingly. That is when I happened to find out that I was on his caseload, and that is how we ended up striking up quite an acquaintance.
When our teacher was hired, he thought he was hired to help the ESD spend the $2.985 million that the legislature had set aside. Instead, he was told by the vision service coordinator’s supervisor that someone else was already in charge of that. Well, over the course of that year, he noticed that the ESD wasn’t doing anything more to enhance the level of service that these students were entitled to according to the new law. He went to numerous staff meetings, talked with parents and teachers, and wrote up several letters to his superiors. Instead, he was written up multiple times, complaining that he was edging over the boundary lines from service to one of advocacy. They had also said that the ESD was not there to serve students. They were there to serve the districts.

‘In a meeting with [the vision services supervisor,] I was told that “We are an education service district. That means we serve districts.” I objected to this and told her that I do not serve districts. I serve students. By doing my best to serve students I fulfill my role as an ESD employee, and the districts are served as well. I won’t change. This is what you got when you hired me.’

He wrote these daring words as part of a four-page rebuttal letter, which he handed over to the HR department, in response to a letter written to him by his superiors that if he continued to do what he was doing, he would be terminated. Everybody knew that making statements like this were guaranteed to be protected by the first amendment, and they knew they couldn’t sack him on these grounds. Once they found their first opportunity when the TVI had let his teaching license lapse for a month, they did.
While all of this was going on, he had an opportunity to meet my older brother. He and I were in twelfth and tenth grade, respectively, and he and I were in the same school. On the first day, he saw that my brother was raging and angry because he needed something, and in this case, he just wanted to go to the bathroom. So the teacher tried to find out if my brother knew how to say that he needed to go to the bathroom, and within a few days of coming in each morning, and signing to him that this was the bathroom, it became very clear to him that My brother could communicate what he needed. Before that, the teachers were making him wait until they said that it was okay for him to use the bathroom. Nuh-uh! When nature calls, you’ve got to answer it, otherwise you’re going to end up with a very nasty message. He simply told the teachers that if my brother wanted to use the toilet, nobody should stop him. Just make him say where he was going. Over the course of the next five months, The TVI worked with my brother extensively, teaching him about thirty signs, and utilising a calendar system to help him develop a concept of time, choice, and sequence. Once My brother’s days became predictable for him, his acting-out behaviours were dramatically abated. The TVI was also directed by a deaf and hard-of-hearing consultant as to which signs were appropriate to teach somebody who was both deaf and blind. Because casting someone with multiple disabilities aside in the bureaucratic world is unfortunately not too uncommon, my brother never had a specialist who knew how to work with prelingually deaf-blind people.
The TVI once recalled a time when My brother was told that he should finish the task first before he could play with the cassette player and put it directly over his ear. I don’t know if he could hear a little bit, or if he liked the vibration, but My brother signed ‘no’ and moved the tape player to the ‘now’ position in the calendar tray. Rather than forcing My brother to finish the task, The TVI congratulated him and told him ‘Good job!’ My brother told him so clearly that he didn’t want to wait, he wanted to do it now.
In another incident, my brother was dragged to this mysterious place indoors where people picked up giant rocks, put them on a weird frame, pushed them forward, and then got more rocks and did the same thing, over and over and over again with no end in sight. As far as he knew, those rocks just went to the rock quarry. He got so mad that he ended up refusing to budge. Of course, you probably figured out that he wasn’t picking up rocks. He was picking up bowling balls and pushing them down a ramp. But, because nobody told him what this was, why he was doing it, etc, there was no way for him to associate that this was fun. He couldn’t see nor hear the pins clattering about as the ball hit them. He couldn’t hear when people cheered. How could anybody think that was fun if they didn’t know what was going on? Fortunately, the TVI arrived and attempted to explain the situation to the rest of the special education teachers, including my brother’s one-on-one. He tried to show my brother how the ball knocked the pins over, but still, it’s really hard for him to associate this activity as being fun.
In mid to late January of 2010, his supervisor came to do a surprise evaluation on The TVI’s teaching skills, and when she saw him communicating with My brother using sign language, she waited until that was over before asking him why, if he was a teacher of the visually-impaired, he was teaching somebody sign language. He wasn’t a teacher of the deaf, and it was only the teacher of the deaf’s responsibility to work with that student. The TVI said, ‘Well, I’m not an English teacher, but I communicate with my students in English. I know German, and if My student could only speak German, I would talk to him in German. Why need I be a teacher of the deaf to communicate with a deaf person using signs?’ In other words, he was objecting and saying that anybody who happened to know another language besides English should be entitled to use that language to communicate effectively with that student. I had always thought that when employers hired you, they want you to have great skills. I wonder what would’ve happened if The TVI had said in his resume that he was proficient in American Sign Language. Well, I can understand to an extent why they had a problem with this. They didn’t want someone who wasn’t certified to teach my brother flawed sign language.
In March of 2018, I spoke with the supervisor’s successor, who held the same attitude that his predecessor had held, mainly that a licensed teacher should be the one to communicate with a deaf or deaf-blind person. He also told me that I should look at his former IEP to find out if they had specifically indicated why My brother was not eligible to receive services for the deaf and blind. It was likely that he was declared incompetent, and unwilling to learn, and they didn’t want to spend a lot of time, money, and resources on him when it could’ve benefited other people. Instead, he was transitioned to a three-year day programme at a place called ARC. It stood for Association for Retarded Citizens. Nobody taught him sign language while he was there. They just had him work on basic occupational skills during that time.
When My brother started getting used to not going to school every day from 2013, he started getting things his own way. He went about the house totally naked, and he refused to put on certain clothes, and more recently, any pair of shoes. He was able to wear some clothes when we went out, but now, he only wants to be naked as a way of saying, ‘if I don’t put on clothes, I won’t be able to go out. If I don’t go out, I won’t have to worry about where the bathroom is or deal with things that do not make sense to me.’
In mid to late August of 2016, we discovered that My brother would not let himself be coaxed to get inside my aunt’s friend’s van. Our minivan’s steering column had malfunctioned, and we needed to get home. My brother whined and squirmed, trying to get away. He flat-out refused to get in. So, my mother was obliged to leave him with our aunt and take me home, then go back to walk My brother home in the heat.
So, on March 9th, 2017, the van broke down a second time in front of the store, and since My brother had clearly demonstrated that he didn’t want to get inside another person’s car, he was obliged to walk home in the rain. Since my mother was now deprived of any means to get more food, that left me having to do everything I could to survive. As I had already deposited three hundred dollars into the secured credit card, I had no other funds available, so I had to overdraw my bank account and get a cash advance to get more food from nearby fast-food joints. My card arrived a week later, one day after my birthday, and I was able to cover the overdraft. I was able to get some food for the remainder of March, and I thought things would get better come April. I was using Lift, as in the Uber and Lift app.
For whatever reason, probably due to a technical error at the bank, I double-paid off my credit card when I had no funds available to pay it off, so I ended overdrawing my bank account to over three hundred dollars. I knew I couldn’t pay it back until May, so I began looking at other funding sources. I tried to dispute this extra payment, but it was already too late. My attorneys from LegalShield couldn’t find anything wrong, and I didn’t know about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to do anything about it. At any rate, I was able to get approved for a second credit line at PayPal for $500, and I used it to cover the overdraft. Combined with the secured credit card and the credit line, I was in $800 of debt.
I knew that Summer and the hot weather were fast-approaching, so I had to think about what I could do to reduce my anxiety and stay cool. I was able to get a prescription for Clonazepam, which was also not covered by Care Oregon. I started taking 0.25 MG once or twice a day, and at first, I didn’t find it helpful, but the more I used it, the more relaxed I felt. On the first warm day of the year, which was my teammate’s funeral, Wednesday, 3 May 2017, we reached the eighties. I took 0.75 MG throughout the entire day, and as I was riding home from bowling, I felt extremely sleepy, and I was able to get through the next day without problems. My doctor also prescribed an antidepressant called Sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It wasn’t meant to be used to treat anxiety, but they also wanted me to not get addicted to the benzodiazepine, so I began taking that regularly.
I was paying approximately five hundred dollars to both of my credit accounts, and since I wanted to boost my credit scores as much as possible, I continued to make payments every time I charged my card. I was caught up in a cycle of paying my debts and then immediately creating new debts. It wasn’t easy, and I realised that I would have a much better chance to get out of debt when I got my deposit back in March of 2018.
In November of last year, I went to the bank to increase my credit limit, but because I was using a secured credit card, I had to deposit another $100 to increase it to $400. Combined with my PayPal credit line, I then owed $900. Since PayPal did not report anything to the credit bureaus, I only paid my secured credit card in full each month, while I only paid part of the debt to PayPal each month.
I was desperate to get food during the time that the van broke down that I reached to as many agencies as I could, and I eventually made a connection with the Helen Keller National Centre. The representative from the Seattle regional office came out to our house and heard testimony from my mother, My brother’s case manager, The TVI, and me. The representative and I worked throughout that summer and fall of last year and part of this year to see how we could get funding to bring two staff members from New York, of different genders, to work with my brother and train the new staff member and my mother on how to communicate effectively with him. In February of this year, I made a connection with the executive director of The Hull Foundation for the Blind. That is where I did my sky-dive five years ago. The TVI donated $120,000 to them as part of his settlement. The person who worked there turned out to be the past district governor of the Lions Club, and they agreed to help us raise the funds to start work on saving my brother’s life. Click here to donate. They were also very incensed by the attitude the ESD had held towards people like my brother. They told me that the ESD didn’t want to admit that they had failed duly in their duty, and that’s why the new vision service coordinator told me what I told you. It is quite embarrassing when a large entity, corporation, or bureaucracy loses to one individual in a civil case as this. Still, I can sort of understand to an extent why they strongly objected to this.
Well, since I couldn’t go back to school for several reasons, I decided to try my hardest to get the services my brother is entitled to, since our mother doesn’t seem to be well-informed about the resources that are available to her. She, speaking only Spanish, and having attended but five years of school so she could work in the farm, was never prepared other than what, according to her, God had given her. The problem is that she and I have different viewpoints about how my brother’s needs are to be met, and we can never come to an agreement. My mother thinks my brother’s needs are fine just the way they are, whereas I think she’s sheltering him too much, and not disciplining him enough, and that she’s spoiling him. She argued by saying that I am wanting attention and food, and that My brother is stubborn, and not willing to accept anybody else other than his mother. True, everybody needs attention, and everybody needs food. I like different foods that my mother and My brother usually eat. Besides, if my mother dies, my brother has to be tolerant to having someone else take care of him, especially now that he won’t leave the house. These arguments seem rather tenuous, in my honest opinion. So, I often must show my mother how to prepare things for my liking. It is also true that when a sick or disabled family member gets all the attention, their siblings would feel left out and might feel as though they were less than what they really were. I’ve envied other families who could afford to go on vacations and explore the world. Because of my brother, we can’t do that, so I’m usually the one to go alone. When my brother was a lot younger, it was easy for him to go along with us.
At the suggestion of the HKNC representative, I went to seek mental health therapy at a nearby location, and it is through they that I came up with a plan. My therapist had asked me what part of my experience that happened to me in Arizona did I take with me that I had turned it into something much bigger than it actually was, and something that was least likely to occur, and let it control my quality of life. I don’t have a clear answer to this question, but I do know that this is just one of many negative things that have happened to me in the past, and I guess, as sort of a self-defence mechanism, I avoided similar situations so I wouldn’t have to deal with another experience. And yet, I should learn to prepare for something like that in case it does happen, so that I have a plan to make sure someone will be there when I need them. I told my therapist that I was afraid of losing my balance from the constant rocking sensation, or that I would be trapped in a hot and stuffy place, with no way to cool down, or that I would faint, and nobody would help me. I was also afraid that there wouldn’t be enough food. I also related to my therapist about how, when I came back, I’ve had frequent flashbacks and nightmares of either biting my brother back whenever he bit me severely, or how I called 911 every time I felt dizzy and had an out-of-body experience, sleep paralysis, or astral projection. I’d feel as though I were struggling to pick up my iPhone so I could hold down the home button and tell Siri to call emergency services. In my dream, I was a frequent 911 caller, and the dispatcher had assigned me an account number so that I wouldn’t have to tell them what I was dealing with every time I called. Usually, the dispatcher would tell me to try to stay calm, and if I were feeling dizzy, that I should try and get water until they could come to rehydrate me. These dreams stopped sometime in late March of 2017, and I haven’t had any since then, except for maybe one or two ambulance rides that occurred once or twice in 2018. I actually rode in a type II ambulance when I donated too much blood in June of 2016.
So, here’s what I think. Our brains hasn’t gotten used to the changes in our culture. Our brains perceived something as a threat, so we get physical symptoms that alerts us of danger, and we are prepared to run or fight, or even freeze. I think this post from WebMD has some good information on what constitute triggers. Going through such an ordeal would’ve probably caused my brain to not create short-term memories, but I guess it didn’t do so in my case, or else I wouldn’t have recalled everything in great detail. However, it were the thoughts, the places, and the dreams that were extremely triggering.
The older we get, the more sensitive we become of our environment. Think of the heat in Arizona as a threat. My brain was like a watch person. It kept making sure I was staying alive all the time. When we take anti-anxiety pills or anti-depressant pills, we’re telling the brain to stop keeping watch temporarily and pretend there’s no danger. Make sure that neurochemicals like serotonin stay in the brain longer, or create more serotonin to stabilise your mood.
Some people may say that a simple heat exhaustion is not itself traumatic. But I disagree. Anything that can cause you to change your entire brain chemistry in a short amount of time is considered trauma. I did some Google searches and found that I’m not the only one who has agoraphobia and panic disorder, and who has had a past history of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. I’m sure there are others like myself who are wondering the same thing.
Well, once I was through working out the negative experiences I had in 2016, my therapist and I talked about how all of my plans have been put on hold because of the massive amount of time I had to put in recovering from that ordeal. As of this year, things are slowly getting better–slowly but surely. I feel now that the best times for me to travel is early in the morning and late at night during the summer. Otherwise, I feel fine travelling during the late fall to early spring. It’s been a while since I started dealing with these life-altering symptoms, and I want to resume a normal life, free of ringing in my ears, dizziness, and imbalance.
Now that it is 2019, I helped my mother get the things needed to have a central air conditioner added to our furnace last year from Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning, and it has worked wonders! I figured out how I could cool the rest of the house down. I was confined to my bedroom in all of Summer 2017 because I was using a window air conditioner.

Anyhow, I had said before that I wouldn’t be able to get out of credit card debt until March of 2018, and that was true. However, due to some not so favourable changes in my income, I had to enroll in a debt management plan that was licenced by the National Foundation for Credit Counselling. That’s why I’m doing everything I can in my arsenal to fight back by publishing my manuscripts, creating and monetising podcasts and other things. In addition, I sold some stuff on eBay and a local pawn shop, as well. Also, I learned that Next Door offered a way for neighbours to buy and sell stuff. So, I ended up having to sell all my musical instruments.
I had literally lost enjoyment of life because of what I went through, and I made some enquiries as to whether I would have a reasonable cause of action for personal injury because of all that I went through, but my lawyer told me that there were no reliable witnesses, and it’s possible that I might’ve signed a waiver, which I don’t remember doing.
Well, I think this has been a rather long enough post. I hope that you have found everything to be informative. So, my current goals are to start venturing out again in small steps. I already began this by attending a retreat at a political advocacy programme called Catalyst, and start learning how to make pottery on the wheel. In addition, I’d also love to learn how to build a brick-and-mortar ham shack or studio. But, these things cost money, which is why I’m going through all this trouble to get the life I need and want. So, I began looking at investment opportunities, and I learned about Edward Jones. It is through them that I now have a mutual funds account.
In the next post, I will be talking about what you can do if you want to build your credit history for the first time, and what you should look out for, so that you don’t end up making the same mistake I made.

What happened to me? The beginning of a never-ending nightmare

Hi, my fellow humans
This is going to be another long post again, and the way the introduction starts suggests that I haven’t posted here in a long time. That’s partially true, but here’s what happened.
After realizing that I wanted to be an independent WordPress owner, I got help from someone who knows how to use Linux boxes. Together, we rebuilt my blog and attached my basic HTML web site that I started working in my last two years of Hi School. As luck would not have it, though, I lost all my posts because I didn’t check to make sure the SQL files were generated properly. I tried importing the XML file I got from my old wordpress.com account, but it evidently didn’t get saved. Fortunately for me, however, I kept an archive in text form of all the posts I had ever written, and I spent time going through it and reposting them, sometimes splitting them up into multiple parts and editing them. So, this is where I am now.
I know it has been quite a long time since I last posted, and I thought I’d inform you of what I’ve been doing for the last three and a half years. This is going to turn out to be long, so I would suggest that you find some time to sit down so you can spend about half an hour to forty-five minutes reading and re-reading through this article.

Before I start, I want to briefly tell you about my first major medical mystery that began in Decepber 2012. That one was pretty interesting. While I was at the transitional programme, I felt a bit of soreness on the right side of my throat. Two days later, I started feeling pangs of air hunger. I had a strong urge to take deep breaths to fill them out, and three days later, my lungs were hurting, yet I persisted. By January 2013, I had almost recovered, except that I kept coughing non-stop. It went away briefly in March, but it came back a few days later. Sometimes, if I slept for a long time, I felt fine, but then the coughs would return. I also kept swallowing a lot, as well. Eventually, I was prescribed an Albuterol inhaler in June, right after I had left. That was around the time I felt like my coming of age had arrived. I took a couple of spirometry tests, which I previously took when I was taking Anatomy and Physiology in high school, and the coughs gradually went away. I had some occasional flare-ups here and there, and my chest raddled every time I coughed hard. I got a Vicks humidifier, which helped somewhat. Two years later, I had to get a refill because the coughs were more consistent, and the doctor suspected that I most likely had intermittant asthma. I actually got a minor panic attack in January of 2013 when I thought that I might have it.
But I never thought I could suffer a nervous breakdown until I actually experienced one. I mean, I’ve had bouts of panic attacks and astral projection from sleep paralysis, and I’ve survived three blood donations and two wisdom teeth surgeries under nitrous oxide, and although the side effects were tolerable, nothing prepared me for what happened to me a few months later. I’ve also never taken a narcotic pain killer until July of 2016, and I had some very interesting experiences, which I will talk about in a later post.
I was getting ready to race with my dragon boating team in Tempe, Arizona from September 30th to October 2nd of 2016. I kept attending all sixteen mandatory practices before the race. Had I known the severe hardships I would endure; I would have backed out as soon as I could. As it was, I suffered a great deal, and it took me nearly two years to recover from the aftermath.
When I arrived in Tempe on Friday, 30 September, I was doing just fine, even in the great heat. So, it was quite a surprise when, on Saturday, I started exhibiting symptoms of heat exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, hyperventilation, or panic attack, that lasted for several hours, even though I was in a shaded tent, and it was around ninety degrees Fahrenheit. Although I kept drinking plenty of water and Gatorade, I wasn’t provided with enough food, and our team was only supplied with a light continental breakfast. I first felt slightly lightheaded when I was accompanying my team down to the lake, though it could have been my imagination. After about twenty minutes of being seated in the tent, I started noticing that my mind was racing, and I was starting to breathe more rapidly. I began having problems with my thoughts. I was thinking about one thing over another until I realised that I was thinking of every possible scenario of why I would not be able to survive in the extreme heat. Then I started to feel like I was in a fog. My brain felt very hazy, and I had the strongest urge to pass out, but I fought it off by constantly being in motion. Then, since I was afraid of fainting from experience, I did everything I could to keep myself awake. I am extremely afraid of fainting, for I have never fainted before, so I didn’t know what sensations I would expect to feel, or if anyone would notice.
Eventually, I started feeling my fingertips and toes tingle if I didn’t move, though it went away when I did. I alerted one of my teammates, who had also felt this way when I was in Portland last month, and she told me to keep drinking more, as if I weren’t already. She alerted the coach, and she told me to stay in the tent, even though I asked to go back to the hotel, and she also told me to drink more Gatorade without offering me any food. I was excused from racing after that. I tried to solicit other means of help to get relief, but no one came to my aid. My Android phone, which I was using at the time, failed me greatly, and I was not able to call emergency services. Had I had access to a ham radio, I would’ve probably used that to call for aid.
All those events took place from nine thirty in the morning until around fourteen hundred. I kept going to the bathroom every fifteen minutes because I kept drinking so many big bottles of Gatorade and smaller bottles of water.
When I went back to the hotel, I was feeling somewhat better, so I went to sleep, and I woke up when it was time for my team to go to dinner. I had trouble walking because I was still dealing from the effects just hours before, but I managed to keep drinking, and I ate a big meal, which kept me going through the night and into the morning. I even saved some leftovers so I could refrigerate it. I don’t know if Room Service could have given me relief at the time.
Come Sunday, I was worried about whether I would be able to race, and what I would do if I couldn’t. Again, we were supplied with a light breakfast, but I vowed to find more food at the venue. The temperature was climbing slowly, and I prayed that it would rain, and incidentally, it did, about half an hour later. I was relieved to receive a good shower outdoors, but soon, the water got too cold, and I was obliged to retreat to the tent. I heard one of the team members say that there was a peculiar odour about the place, and when I sniffed, I detected a sweet, pungent aroma that I associated with electricity, although it was more like the smell of static electricity mixed with gunpowder. I later learned that this was ozone, which is a Greek derivative, as I later learned about in a text adventure game called Curses. When I learned that we might have a thunderstorm, I felt as though the blood were draining from my face, but fortunately, I remained standing. Later, when I got on my computer, I made a joke about the rainstorm on Facebook, saying that I got an answer to my prayers from the heavens, and that I was saved. That downpour drenched us all, and our wet clothing offered us means of cooling afterword. I was able to partake of the last two races, and then we packed up to go back to the hotel. Some members were leaving on Sunday, while others, including myself, went home the following day, which was a big mistake for me. Just as we were getting ready to leave, though, I heard a loud retching, coughing, and wheezing sound. I went over to investigate, and I witnessed one of our teammates throwing up, possibly due to a concussion. I learned the next day that this teammate had been falling down all weekend, and they were being made to paddle despite these mishaps. Since nobody made plans for going to dinner on Sunday night, I didn’t know what else to do. I wasn’t sure if I could use room service, and therefore, I was extremely hungry. I managed to save a piece of chicken meat, and I ate it cold. I ate an apple, and some beef Jerky. I waited, but my appetite wasn’t yet satisfied, but then I remembered saving the leftovers from the day before, so I ate it cold, since there was no microwave available. My hunger was satisfied after that, and I went to bed. If I had access to UberEats or DoorDash, I would’ve felt fine afterword.
On Monday, I awoke to take a nice, warm shower, which went without a flaw. I decided to see about how to get breakfast. I went into this warm and stuffy cafeteria, but that nearly proved disastrous, for no sooner had I gone inside, and while I was sitting at one of the tables, I started to feel my chair tilt and sway, and I felt waves of hot flashes rolling down my body. I knew I was going to faint again, so I fought it off by shuffling my legs around. I also made the mistake of drinking apple juice, which has sorbitol. And, when you’re already dehydrated, it makes it much worse, because it will cause you to have diarrhoea made by pulling water out of your system. So, I went back to my room, and I had my meal delivered there. I noticed that I was having trouble walking again, and I heard a low humming sound in my right ear, around 225 Hz, the same sound you hear if you’ve ever had a tympanogram. I lied down to get some rest, but after a few minutes I had to go to the bathroom again, and I noticed that every time I released stool, it caused me to feel a stinging sensation. I drank tap water, which tasted salty, every time I went to the bathroom to replace what I lost. I called the airline the day before to see about changing it to an earlier day, but it was more expensive to carry this out, so I requested a wheelchair so I wouldn’t have to walk far.
I waited until it was around ten thirty, then I did my best to walk outside. I was feeling so dizzy, I could barely stand up, but I managed to lug my suitcase to the couches, where I stopped to rest. I talked with the teammate who alerted the coach on Saturday, and who accompanied the invalid to the hospital on Sunday. She tied my shoelaces, for they were not well-knotted. It would be the last time I ever interacted with her, for on April 26th, 2017, four days before her birthday, she died in her sleep. She would have been seventy in four more days of her death. Anyhow, I went outside to wait for our cab, and I leaned heavily against the wall for support. When it came, I was relieved to sit down again. I sat in the middle seat in the back. When we got to the airport, I tried to accompany everyone to the check-in line, but it became evident that my dizziness was getting the best of me, and I was forced to find a bench until they could get me a wheelchair. I’m glad I had requested this in advance. I walked through security check and sat back down on the chair. I went to the bathroom, and the coach’s spouse got me some more Gatorade and a banana for me to snack on. With all these things, I was able to avoid hunger for just a bit longer.
The flight was uneventful, although I noticed that my breathing tended to stop just as I was falling asleep, and I would wake up immediately. This usually happened after an episode of near fainting. I previously started feeling such symptoms when I rode in a car, shortly after drinking coffee. I also over-donated blood back in June, though I had previously donated twice (once in November of 2015, and again in March of 2016), and I had to deal with similar symptoms. I was hospitalised this last time, and I had to put up with some of the remaining aftershocks for several weeks. I drank coffee again in August of 2016, six months after I dealt with my last bout of panic attack from drinking coffee when I was at a friend’s house, and again, I experienced a panic attack when I was riding in the cab. This time, I remembered to eat a substantial meal, so I ordered some McDonalds food. I felt much better in about an hour.
Shortly after we landed, I was wheeled out to wait for my ride. Once I got home, I changed to some more comfortable clothes, and I slept for a while. My mother offered to buy me some comfort food, and I got up to eat it. On Tuesday, everything was about the same, but I wasn’t feeling any better. I ate as much as I could, and I had my mother deliver meals to my room. I started noticing for the first time that whenever I walked, I felt as though the floor were moving beneath my feet. If you’ve been on a boat in rough seas or ever stood on a dock in a windy day, you’d know what I’m talking about. I felt the floor bob and sway, and it made it more difficult for me to walk about. I asked my mother to buy me some VitaLyte, or something similar. It is a rehydrating fluid containing glucose or dextrose, and electrolytes, which made it taste very sweet and salty at the same time. I downed one bottle, and then I drank some Gatorade as well. I continued doing this on Wednesday, and that is when I had my first real out of body experience, or astral projection. I remember thinking to myself in my dream that if I were to have a seizure, I wouldn’t be able to wake up. Then, I started to feel lightheaded, and I felt tingles come at me in big waves. Then I found myself floating in my bedroom, and I was drawn to my cordless telephone. I tried to reach for it so I could dial 911, but I was not successful. This was the first of several reoccurring nightmares that were to follow for the next five months.
On Thursday, I still wasn’t getting any better, so I told my mother everything. She offered to drive me to Urgent Care instead of the emergency room, and she did this because the ER would have been busier than if we went to Urgent Care. It would also mean that it would have been more expensive. We left at around nine in the morning and got there at nine fifteen. I checked in, and I was taken to an examining room. I told them what I’ve gone through, and they performed some tests, including an orthostatic blood pressure test, electrocardiogram, and a urine sample, followed by a blood draw. Ever since I’ve been seeing my naturopathic doctor over at the National University of Natural Medicine, I was really fascinated with the needles, syringes, catheters and IV lines, so I was really surprised when I was able to get my hands on a venipuncture kit from The Apprentice doctor back in early 2016 without a Drug Enforcement Administration Number. You never know what people can do with such things if it got into the wrong hands. So, I finally got to feel some butterfly needles, some vials and ampules, and more.
Nearing the end of my visit, I was given diazepam, or valium, as is sometimes known. It was given to me in the form of a tablet containing 5 MG. After about twenty minutes, I started to feel more relaxed. The medical assistant arranged to have me taken to the emergency room if I wasn’t any better by the time I went to my doctor’s office on Friday.
Once I was through, I was taken back out, and my mother drove me to Jack in the Box so I could get something to eat. Then she bought me my first iPhone from Metro PCS so I could have something to play with. When we got home, I was feeling much better, and I spent some time setting up my iPhone. But we all know that some good things can’t always last forever, right?
On Friday, I woke up, and I was feeling pretty good. I got something to eat, and then I continued working on my iPhone. I also talked to a friend of mine, and I thought things were going quite smoothly. Well, when it came time for my mother and I to depart to Portland, I started feeling the old symptoms come back, including diarrhoea. I have a suspicion, but I don’t know if it would be warranted, that if I consumed products from Pizza Hut, I’d get the runs every time. I thought I could get some rest on the way to the clinic, but alas, that didn’t work out in my favour. I guess the effects of the valium had worn off, for my anxiety was causing me to feel the same as I had felt on Monday. I could barely walk up to the desk, so I leaned heavily on my cane, which wasn’t designed for that purpose as it wasn’t a walking stick. Once it was my turn, I checked in as quickly as I could, and then I plopped down on the nearest chair. I waited for about five minutes, but I knew I couldn’t walk such a long distance. So, when my name was called, a wheelchair was brought up to me, and I was asked if I wanted some rescue remedy, which uses the placebo effect to make you believe that you were being given a dose to help you relieve your anxiety. It’s kind of like this: if I gave you a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie, and then two hours later, I told you that they had weed in them, your body would react immediately as if there was. The truth is that they never did. That’s called a nocebo effect.
Anyway, I was taken upstairs, and I was administered the same tests I was given at Urgent Care. They also checked my skin elasticity to make sure I wasn’t extremely dehydrated. The doctor did not prescribe me valium, as I had asked, but instead, they prescribed me something called Propranolol Inderal, 60 MG 24-hour release capsule. I saw in later research that if you were to take this medicine shortly after experiencing trauma, your brain might respond to it differently. Unfortunately, this didn’t work because the neurones involved in encoding the memories have already consolidated them considerably.
At first, taking this beta blocker once a day had no major effects, although my blood pressure readings had gone down somewhat, maybe a little lower than usual, and my heart and breathing rates were slightly lowered. After about a month of taking it, I started noticing some subtle changes, like being more sensitive to heat, though this could have been related to what happened to me, sort of like phantom pain. I went in for a blood draw, one day before Trump was elected president, and I nearly fainted from that in the car on the way home, since it was a fasting blood test. I first felt a warm sensation in my leg, and I thought it was the sun, so I turned my head to the right, as I was sitting on the starboard part of the car, and I immediately felt lightheaded for about a second.
I sort of surprised the phlebotomist when I told her that she was using a winged infusion set because I felt the rubbing of the tube against my arm. Thanks to that kit, I also learnt how to set up an IV line, which eventually became useful when I later got IV therapy.
A few weeks later, my mother told me that I started getting heavier, and she noticed my cheeks rounding up with adipose tissue. I also purchased some Lavela, which is a lavender-based essential oil enclosed in a soft gel. I requested to have a balance evaluation report, so I went ahead and did that with Pacific Ear Clinic.
By late November through early December, I had purchased some equipment to measure my vital signs, like a blood pressure monitor and a pulse oximeter, and a scale to see how much I weighed. In January, I also purchased a glucometer so I could see how my blood glucose was doing. By that time, I was into two months of taking my beta blocker and lavender softgel, and I started noticing major changes in my appetite. I got hungry every two to three hours, instead of seven to eight hours like I normally would. This might have been a trick that caused my body to believe I was in a famine, which is why I probably gained so much weight afterword. This is actually indicative of corticosteroid-like activity, either because of the meds I was taking, or because the constant amount of stress caused me to produce a lot of cortisol, and my thyroid gland was being overactive, so I could’ve developed Cushing Syndrome. Body fat is also known to play a role in messing around with hormone balances. My nipples started puffing out, and they felt extremely sore. After about six months of this torture, my ariolas had increased in diameter. Those assigned female at birth would probably notice androgen-like activity, such as deepening of the voice, male hair growth, and other things. The fat redistribution can cause a moonface appearance. See an article here to learn how to manage weight gain from steroids.
By late November, I had received my physiotherapy and vestibular reports, which were sent to my ear, nose and throat specialist, who arranged to have me undergo an MRI in late December. I will post about my MRI experience later. I was also told that my potassium levels were quite low, so I ate bananas, and I also took potassium supplements. Again, this is another common side effect of having high amounts of steroids in your system. And, I don’t know whether this was due to the Mal de Debarkment Syndrome or the medication I was taking, but there were some days that I felt like the front part of my brain was in a deep fog, and I felt very lethargic and slow-witted. I almost lost my train of thought for a few seconds before it came back, and during that time, I felt like I was about to pass out.
In January, I had a feeling that we were going to be snowbound, so I tried to get as much food as I could, via the Safeway Home Delivery programme. As it was, the snow came in earlier than I had anticipated, and Safeway was not able to deliver my order. My mother, not wanting to risk going out in the snow, was not able to provide me with much food, either. On top of what I’ve gone through, I was ready to give up. Then, the snow started melting, and Safeway was finally able to deliver my order. A few more days, and I was out of the woods. I had started going to some physiotherapy exercises beginning in January, but because of the snow, it got delayed. I went in for about three or four visits, but it wasn’t really helping me much. I got to ride the Alter G antigravity treadmill on my first official visit, the one before that being my assessment visit, and I experienced sensory fatigue when my legs were used to being nearly weightless for several minutes.
I had already suspected that the cause of my excess hunger and weight gain was due to my beta blocker, so I gradually began to lower my dosage without letting my doctor know, and, since I didn’t want to stop suddenly, I tapered off of it completely by the beginning of February.
In November of 2016 and in January of 2017, I received two intravenous treatments, one consisting of a push, and the other one containing a solution which dripped slowly over the period of two and a half hours at a rate of sixty drops per minute. Both treatments were not covered by insurance, so I had to pay out of pocket for these treatments. I didn’t feel a whole lot better, but it was worth a try. In fact, I didn’t even know they offered these treatments had it not been by accident when the receptionist asked me if I had called regarding that. Of course, I wasn’t, but I was curious, so I asked my doctor if we could do it, and they agreed to give it a try.
I had another blood draw on Wednesday, 23 February 2017, and they discovered that I might be dealing with fatty liver, and that I was possibly prediabetic. They also found that my cholesterol was quite high on the HDL, I think, and my blood sugar was at 109, even when I was fasting. I had also risen to 194 LB, and I wondered how I could gain forty pounds in just four months. By the end of the year, I was at 215.

By the end of February, my former partner, who is still my friend, suggested that I try out DirecTV so I could try and learn more about humour and the latest social trends. So, to oblige them, I did. I had a lot of trouble with DirecTV at first, mostly having to do with technical issues in not being able to make the device talk. I soon got it resolved, and I was able to use it more independently.
Back in August of 2016, I was interested in the possibility of getting a secured credit card, so I applied for it, but I didn’t have enough funds to put in the minimum deposit of $300 to get $300 in credit. I waited until February of 2017 to try again. I was finally approved for the secured credit card, and the $300 was deducted from my account in March. Had I known that I was to be in dire peril, I would have waited until I was out of it before getting the card. As it was, I had to make many sacrifices to survive. It was all because of my two-year older brother that my mother, my brother, and I were all put in this predicament. I will continue this in my next post.

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