I haven’t been writing lately because I lost my voice… I’ve looked everywhere for it, under the couch, under my tires (maybe I ran over it, who knows), under the dog’s water bowl (I mean she steals my socks, why wouldn’t she steal my voice) but I just can’t seem to find it. Lately every time I write something the words feel rigid and misplaced, like they don’t belong on paper. I thought it was because I’m tired, I’ve been studying so much, or maybe I’m getting used to speaking in Spanish again. This may all be valid and true reasons, however, the knot that lays beneath my ribcage every time I start writing something…intimate, proves that it’s something more. I think, and this is a shock for us both, that I may be afraid to be vulnerable in this blog.
(Cue gasp sound.)
San Benito, we have a problem.
This blog was founded with the premise of being vulnerable. Vulnerability is a pillar, a primary piece of a puzzle, the foundation of this blog. I know that’s repetitive but I just want to highlight the problem. Lately, the idea of being vulnerable with my readers ( AKA you people) … well, let’s just say I would rather swallow a pink rubber duck than share my feelings at the moment . I don’t know why this is, and I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, but something about this small island has me questioning every fucking thought, move, and word (granted, the fact that I just got my heart pummeled doesn’t really help).
Nonetheless, I haven’t been feeling like myself lately. Let me pinpoint some reasons why.
1. I used to tell dudes to fuck off all the time, disregarding of what they may or may not think about me.
2. I used to let people go effortlessly because I knew that they just weren’t the right fit.
3. If I had problems with peers in class I JUST WOULDN’T GIVE A SHIT!
However, now I’m thinking about consequences, or needing help in the future, not burning bridges or cutting ties, when honestly all I want to say is FUCK YOU! (for legal and moral reasons I should clarify that fuck you is a metaphor for standing up for myself) Fuck you, for making me feel like I’m not worthy of your time or your love. Fuck you, for taking advantage of a woman in need and then exploiting me on social media, and last but not least, fuck you to the peers that acted in an ignorant ableist condemnatory egoistic manner.
I know I may be wrong, and I know I may regret a lot of this in the future, but I’ve been spending a lot of time debating with myself on whether a life without regrets is worth living in the first place. I’ve been debating on whether I should just eat the damn pink rubber duck and not speak out because of what COULD happen, or what I COULD need in the future, or instead be myself unapologetically. So let me clarify the following, if you think this blog post is too long, don’t read it, if you think I curse too much, don’t read it, if you think all I do is nag…look at you being all sharp, you guessed it, don’t read it! Because in the following couple of paragraphs I will be trying to self-soothe this fear of vulnerability…It will be quite cathartic.
I guess after giving it much thought, the one component that all of the events share was disappointment. I gave my heart to a dude that well, mmm, didn’t deserve it or at least didn’t have the capacity to value it (it’s a lot more complex than that). And when I say I tried, I fucking tried, to make it work. But he just didn’t have what it takes and that was disappointing. Did I get played? I could say something deeper, like “life isn’t black and white”, and that everything is much more complicated… however, the reality is that I do not know but, fuck it, at 26 years old I’m not gonna sit around and try to figure it out.
Shortly before that, I decided to try a caretaking agency. That was probably the worst mistake I have ever made since I moved here. I will keep things polite and say that the caretakers that were appointed by the owner were just not of my liking. I’ll just say that there was not enough of a connection. The owner took my disinterest to heart and decided to talk shit about me and my family on social media, more specifically on pages that I would look for assistants and caretakers. The fact that an older woman with a pretty solid degree and her own business would scoop so low and mess with my future, fucked me up. I guess the fact that I remember spilling my guts out to this woman, I remember tearing up because I was so excited to have this un-bearing weight lifted of my shoulders with this whole finding a caretaker situation, with this whole wanting stability situation, with this whole being independent debacle, makes my stomach turn. She took advantage of a vulnerable woman and a vulnerable situation and she made the problem worse.
Last but not least, I had a really bizarre group project situation where…I’m trying to figure out how to tell the story without giving too much away. I hate group projects because my agenda as a woman with a disability is not the same agenda as everyone else. And I don’t like going around telling my group members ‘’I won’t be able to make it to the meeting because my assistant has the runs’’ (she doesn’t actually have the runs but it’s just a true example). I don’t like going around telling my group members ‘’I cant stay till 2 or 4 in the morning because my nurse comes in at 10’’ but this time I decided to speak my truth and accept my boundaries and limitations…which resulted to them openly resenting me for not being able to partake on their agenda, at their speed, at their rate. At the end of the semester, they didn’t want to put my name on the final project and most of the reasons, if not all of them, had no substance except the fact that I could not go at their speed. Which is pretty fucking ableist if you ask me. All I remember was saying ‘’it’s not fair’’ and almost crying on the phone to one of the group members because I can’t make it to the last minute group meeting and my assistant felt sick that day, which already had me in a bad mood. I remember their monotone voices on the phone really not giving a shit and I remember me begging because all I could think about was how unfair it would be to my parents to drive me once a week to the same class if I had to retake it. That being said, there was a voice in my head telling me not to beg, telling me that it’s not worth it, telling me to grow a pair of ovaries and tell them to get fucked…they decided to keep me in the project because ‘’it would be too late to change now’’ but I’m still bothered by the fact that I begged. I begged because of my disability, I begged because I was honest, I begged because I let myself be weak in front of these bitches…I’m disappointed.
I guess part of growing up (and I say this to the 16year old girl who this blog is for) is figuring out how to cope with disappointments and not letting a disappointment turn into fear as it is with me. Disappointment morphed into a fear of vulnerability which is why I think the only solution to my problem is to regain hope. Hope in humanity, hope in intimacy and love, and hope that everything is going to be okay (I sound like an after school special).
Radical Hope is a term that helps us imagine a future within a period of turmoil and change. Philosophers interested in the great concerns of human life, knowledge, reason, and all of that good stuff coined the word. They wanted to learn more about how people recover from traumatic experiences like losing their culture. Numerous authors have discussed the philosophical and psychological idea of radical hope. In the book Radical Hope, Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation, Jonathan Lear examines how Crow Chief Plenty Coups guided his people during a period of extreme upheaval. When the Crow were forced to live on reservations and give up buffalo hunting, their cultural ways of life were destroyed, but he was able to inspire his people to reinvent their own existence in order to save them from losing hope. I know this took a dark turn but bear with me. When you’re disabled, the floor is made of jell-o, there is no stability. You can be having the best 6 months of your fucking life and all of the sudden your assistant, your caretaker, she’s just not feeling it and your world crumbles. So sometimes, and I mean most times, all we have is hope but we have to be smart about it.
Fear is normal, we all experience it. But if we let “It” win, we lose the possibility of growing, loving and living fully. So here I am, defying my fear of being vulnerable and expressing myself unapologetically. If this scares or offends you, I'm sorry, but I'm determined to be myself and feel hope again. And if someone doesn't like it, they can fuck off. That being said we can’t just go around telling people to fuck off , literally, but we can go around telling people to fuck off metaphorically, by surviving, by moving forward, by eating the pink fucking rubber duck with a smile on our face and asking for more.