Thursday, March 20, 2014

What Duck Dynasty Teaches Me

     I am fortunate to have a variety of mentors who have helped me to learn how to continue living and having a life after my brain damage. I appreciate people who have believed in me enough to teach me about responsibility and dreams at a time when things were pretty dark. Traumatic brain injury changed my life. Although my life is different now, I still very much have a life.

     Through my interaction with conservatives on Twitter (tm), I am reminded that in spite of my present neurological difficulties I can keep striving. I do not have to be a lump in a chair sleeping my life away to the drone of teevee talk shows. I can be a contributing self-supporting member of society. There is no self-esteem to be found in hand-outs. No one owes me a living. 

     Yes, I am an atheist. I have been a non-theist for many years. Even so, I can certainly learn from those who have differing religious viewpoints. I have found that in spite of my non-beliefs, I fit in better with those of a libertarian bent than I would have ever suspected. And I discovered Duck Dynasty.

     The Robertson family is from around Monroe, Louisiana. They are proud red-necks. They make me laugh. They remind me of folks I used to know when I was living in Baton Rouge. They are practical and fun people. At the end of the show, they pray. They get to do that. I don't care. The right to self-expression is not limited to "those who agree with me totally on everything." I stand with Phil Robertson. He expressed his Christian beliefs in an interview with a magazine and the world blew up. He has an absolute right to do so. As a heterosexual man, he does not have to understand same-gender love and relationships. As a Christian man, he does not have to endorse something that he believes is wrong. No one has to.

     Here are some of the things that I've learned through watching Duck Dynasty:

Being different is okay.
Doing stuff differently than other people do it is okay.

Building stuff is fun, even if it comes out weird.

I can express myself without cursing.

Family is important.

sapphoq healing brain damage

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Stuff Your Use of the Phrase "Special Needs"

     I don't like it. Not a bit. What is so "special" about the "needs" of disabled people? Of communities of disabled people? Yes, I have a traumatic brain injury. Yes, that means I have brain damage. But my needs are the same needs that everyone else has.

     It all relates to F.-S.P.I.E.S.


     Financial-- We all need money or something to exchange for goods and services.

     Social-- We all need acquaintances, friendly folks, and friends. [Even if it is one friend].

     Physical-- We all need clothing, shelter, nutrition. We all need to navigate our environment. And we all need exercise.

     Intellectual-- We all need intellectual stimulation.

     Emotional-- We all need connection.

     Spiritual-- We all need awe or beauty.

     All of you temporarily abled people can take the phrase "special needs" and stuff it along with the ideas that we ought to "Fight Against Autism," make clucking noises over the "stigma of mental illness," and declare all kinds of conditions to be "a brain disease."

     Screw that. Screw all of it. 

     We, the disabled, have the right to name ourselves as we see fit. You, the non-disabled, do not have the right to invent fancy little demeaning labels. Take your words and your puzzle pieces and your nonsense away. We reject your control over our lives. 

     ~ sapphoq healing complications from brain damage