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This is a performance piece, specifically a rant. Rants, especially those by women, are seeped with negative connotations of unjust complaining and chaotic diatribes, which are too often dismissed. I will not be dismissed.
I’ve been working on this rant for more than two years which has gotten bigger and bigger. I have so much to say but yet my voice is often unrecognised: so sit and listen.
Content warning: this rant contains content related to suicide and abuse.
My work is from the self and stuff that is close to me. I'm interested in what can be done with one's identity and the space around it, both my body and mind, touching everyday feelings between the playful and the political. This is often to do with my disability and sexuality. This rant, like much of my art, is focussed on access and the lack of it, to places, people's minds and opportunities many take for granted.
A note about recording:
This is a recording of Sam Petersen’s performance ‘I’m not a good girl’ at West Space Gallery on Thursday 4 October 2018. Recordings such as this are a way to archive and allow ‘access’ to performances that have occurred in the past or for those who were unable to physically attend.
Westspace and myself would like to begin by acknowledging the the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nations,
the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, eat, think, breathe and feel.
We pay our respects to their elders past, present and future.
Hi I'm Sam
Do you like my PJ pants?
I like them because they have cups of tea on them with a lavender background.
‘The Long Dark Tea Time Of The Soul’
or lots of coffee.
All milky, warm and comfy.
I also like that I got them from the op shop.
But most of all I couldn’t give a rats what you think.
I feel I need to say this to the world, so hopefully we can have a conversation about it.
What might be obvious to me may not be obvious to you, and I've come to realise that I haven't fully said my side of things.
It's totally ok to laugh, laughter is an emotion and it doesn’t mean you are not taking me seriously.
I laugh at serious things.
This is about how lots of you see me and the feelings I have, so hopefully you will see me differently after this
and also to explain more fully to all the others what’s happening to me.
I have hardly felt discriminated against as a woman, for my disability has always over shadowed it.
This is annoying as I feel like a good angry feminist, but never get the chance.
Instead I have grown up in this world where few people know how to be with me.
And I have come to see that is feminism
but hardly anyone knows about it.
People often call me "good girl" or "good boy".
I don't mind them getting my sex mixed up.
I have grown to like the idea that I can embody both genders.
Am I an inny or outy?
But I wish I could say this: I go through life where the first thing I ask is it wheelchair accessible?
Then, often, it is hard to access.
Narrow doorways, boxes, chairs, you name it, even people just standing there on their phones.
I know there is often a way round it, but it's so hard all the time, and often I'm left out in the cold.
When I go to the doctor I have to wait outside until someone lets me in.
At places to eat I often have to sit outside.
I often have to find a different way because there is a car parked on the footpath.
It all eats away at your life and it can be socially isolating.
And some of you call me "good boy".
I was at the movies and I had this new chair which tilts back really far and I was loving it, but I didn't realise that my head was right in the walkway of the row behind so when the credits started my friend alerted me and I turned my head to see the whole row standing there waiting.
I was in their way for once.
I don't know why they were going, it was a Marvel movie after all.
I have had fellow students go into an inaccessible restaurant on me.
In a way this shows good and bad things.
It means people see me before my disability, before having to think about my chair fitting into a space.
It also sucks too though, because once again it excludes me from spontaneously hanging out
There have been inaccessible parties - that is some parties I can't go to.
But this isn’t about that kind of access.
Issues with the social environment are far greater.
I’m so sick of things being asked about me like;
‘How old is she?’
‘Does she go to school?’
‘Does she go out everyday?
‘Is he allowed lollies?’
‘Where is her carer?’
‘I take it she is a virgin?’
‘What is his name?’
‘Are you her Mum?.’
‘Where is his carer?.’
But I don’t get angry, because you don’t know any better.
Well kind of
I was at the Sushi place and a cashier was helping me with my wallet.
Yeah that’s right, community support.
A woman came up to us and said to the cashier, 'here put this in his wallet, it's a gift,' holding out $10, I refused it.
By all means give me money, as an artist I'm always underfunded, however address me directly please.
Crossing from Flinders station to Fed Square, I had a speechy with me because we had agreed to meet.
She was going ‘stop here,’ ‘now go, go’.
The green person was right there.
I tried to tell her subtly to stop it by saying I come here all the time.
She said ‘stop’ again on the way back.
I went backward and forward threatening to go into traffic.
I think she got the picture.
I can now use a toilet on my own. I just put my leg over the bowl, flick the tap and "wee".
When I first had the stroke the hospital did not give me the right information about having a catheter.
They said you’re continent, yeah right, like they will provide me with a support worker, a standing hoist and commode every where I go.
I had to have nappies to go out which ended up being all the time because I didn’t want to be at home.
This was all because catheters are too prone to infection.
My physio at the hospital said she didn’t think I would be able to empty it myself and there's a place at Flinders Street where I could get my nappy changed.
I gulped my tears back at the thought of spending the majority of my life tied to home and the city.
I tried it for a bit, but something had to change.
I could not go on like that.
It was too much, my bum being wet all the time and it was too socially isolating having to take the time out to change and I started to notice everyone else had catheters anyway.
When I first got my catheter put in for good I was so excited.
I wanted to show the whole world my golden shower.
Sure, it was a total cluster fuck at first, I found it was sexually stimulating which was fun at the start of the day, but quickly would get very very painful.
Every bump I went over would go through me till I wanted to scream.
That has passed though and I’ve got the catheter coming out of my tummy now.
It does get infections and blocks at times, but still definitely better.
I have to wee more now, but still definitely better.
Fucking hell it is so much better.
Nevertheless, I cannot go into most disabled toilets.
Aside from all the able-bodied people taking dumps or being sick in them when there are able bodied toilets right there.
I guess it's because they think it's more private and I know some able-bodied people use them and have every right to, for safety concerns or trauma or because of invisible disabilities.
But so many times I have seen people go to use the disabled toilets, see that it’s engaged and instead immediately turn to go to the other toilets.
Meanwhile I'm outside toying with the idea of using the gutter which I would really rather not do.
I don't mind using it, but at these times people ask me "are you ok", which makes me feel really odd, they ask "do you need a hand?"
They can't know what I am about to do, but that's nice - people seeing if I need help.
I have found that people are pretty awesome.
Offering to get me things off hard to reach shelves in the supermarket, retrieving my hat from the ground, making sure the train driver remembers to let me off, covering me from the rain.
But people don't know these things, like: please don't leave a chair there, parents could you please put the change table back up when you finish, your rubbish bins are in my way, having to put the seats up myself on a moving bus and so on, and so on, and so on, and so on.
And please don't call me good girl.
I love these new timer locks, on some of the push button toilets.
They just go to vacant if you take too long.
I once opened the door and there was this able bodied man in there taking a dump.
I just sat there as he got up and did a shuffle walk to the close button.
The toilet was blocked when he was done.
If the disabled toilet is free I cannot get the door open to most of them or if I go inside I couldn't get out again because often the door has the big heavy closer on it.
And most of the time I cannot reach the flush.
So gutter for me after all.
You may think "Why doesn't your carer open it for you?":
They are a support worker not a carer.
I do not need to be taken care of.
And If I can do it myself I will do it myself.
It's just old architecture and people getting in the way.
I was visiting my Dad for the first time in the nursing home.
I had to go to the toilet and the woman showing me the way said I'll wait outside.
When I was done she said 'sorry I thought you were his wife,' and I laughed and tried to say 'he often calls me Isolde which is my Mother’s name', but she said 'I've got to go, it's lunch time, good girl' and tried to push me.
She tried to push me.
At times like this I just shut down.
If I was to get angry I would be labeled the angry one and also there are only so many words I can type in a day.
I'm very aware I take a while to say something and I often don't say anything for this reason, but then I need to express myself too.
I unavoidably take more time than able bodied people, but then It's all the lack of access that takes so much more time, and I just get tired out by coping with my disability.
This makes my time very precious, so I know the value of time.
And you call me ‘good boy’.
I am glad I don't have to earn a living.
I have spent most of my life being incapacitated and then the rest catching up, but some of that catching up would have been a lot faster if I had been supported right and I wouldn't have missed out on so much socially.
Looking back there were things my parents should have done differently, for starters not be so fucking obsessed with me getting better and nothing else, but they were a product of their time.
My mum used to cry in frustration.
Understandable, she had the same thing I did and society wasn’t fair to her, and she knows how hard it is.
Full blown dystonia is torture damn it, the constant uncontrollable movement.
It was too much for her to hold in, but it did make me back away from her.
They didn’t see me as being able to have a good life and mostly they were right, till maybe now.
I spent so much time out of society, I didn’t go to school and that does things to you.
And I feel like the whole world is ahead of me: learning, travel, work, books, tv, food, or just knowledge about life and I don’t feel I’m ever going to catch up
Like I’m only just watching Buffy.
And some of you call me 'good boy'.
When my sister got married I was maid of honour. Very traditional wedding, and me.
I picked out a white sleeveless top, dark blue pants and got the best pair of colourful flower power sandals.
I was late to the hair dressers because I live so far away.
One of the bridesmaids said ‘yeah we know you don’t like anything feminine’.
She didn’t really know me.
I rented a van which we thought would be great for us all to go in to the wedding, one big bridal party but at the last minute my sister said her dress will not fit in the van.
I ended up alone with my support worker.
So I didn't get to travel with my sister and the other bridesmaids to the wedding.
I kept running over the dress which I should have seen coming but didn’t.
All in all I didn’t feel like the maid of honour.
The whole world is always ahead of me.
At the reception one of my sisters old sweet friends was drunk and tried to tell me I could get better.
Bloody Secret Garden fantasy.
Cue soppy music.
People have tried to tell me I could get better.
I had people say maybe you could learn to talk again.
I know you mean well, but I tried the hardest anyone could have tried in rehab for two years, and before that, and there is no way I’m quote ‘getting better’
Determination has nothing to do with it and now it’s time to get on with life.
You have to take me as I am.
Another drunk woman at the wedding wouldn’t leave me alone. She asked me on the dance floor, what disease do you have?
I said ‘that isn’t appropriate here’.I later was told that she is a nurse but who fucking cares, it wasn’t appropriate.
She wouldn’t leave me alone, she kept taking my dead stroke-affected hand in hers.
She kept saying what a good brother I had because he was dancing with me.
That same brother got so sozzled himself that he sat on me and drove my chair into the dessert table, but that's just part of the danger of having fun and he didn't hurt me nearly as much as the insensitive comments.
You see. It isn't just a drunk woman at a wedding. It's society as a whole that mostly pities me, that thinks I’m less than I am.
I do not want your pity or your "isn't she amazing!!"
I know I'm fucking amazing but that's totally missing the point.
I guess it’s a bit like sexism or racism or homophobia, fat phobia, ageism or any kind of ism, only probably they don't understand that they are doing something wrong, but isn’t that the same for all isms?
I would say it’s infantilising, but that’s wrong for infants.
So what can I call it?
And what the fuck that we are so age ist towards females that we have to call them girls for eternity.
I miss speech.
There is so much to say.
I always feel I'm catching up and when I'm with people who don't know me I often get "good girl" or nothing.
Because it's easier not to talk to someone next to you or because they are scared.
Like "good girl" or "good boy" as if we can't grow up. But I don't think it should be said to anyone no matter what age they are.
But I don't think it should be said to anyone no matter what age they are.
True there can be some brain problems just like able bodied people.
I, for one, have dyslexia and the stroke has made it worse.
But you shouldn't talk down to anyone and the more we are talked down to, the more down we become and again the less we can get out of life.
It's so hard to be yourself.
These are only my observations. I do not speak for anyone else, they might like being called good girl or good boy. I don’t know, but I definitely do not.
Some of you have the right idea. But so many of you don't.
I have to keep telling myself it's not your fault.
But it happens so often.
I get 'Good Girl' or 'Good Boy' at the supermarket, post office, pharmacy, op shop, shopping centres, Dentist, train station, doctor, restaurants, street and even my own home. The only place I do not get it is at uni and that says everything.
And please don't pat me on the head or grab my cheeks.
It is very patronising too. It happens to me a lot less now, but it still can happen.
It’s saying I'm bigger than you are.
I'm all for touching with consent, but that is wrong and it isn’t with consent.
When people do it to me and it’s appropriate I grab them by the hand and pull them down to my level and pat them back.
Some have gone ‘eeek’ to me messing up their hair. Take that 😄
And now I can do this
Then there are all the times where you only half patronise me, like when you’re a little too nice to me. ‘There you go sweet heart’
Yeah its a grey area.
Though it was handy when they had the Coles minis promotion on.
What. They were so cute.
I got all 30.
However, I don’t want you to not talk to me because you’re afraid of saying anything wrong and in the end by saying nothing you are causing far greater pain because you are ostracising me.
Just talk to us the same as anyone else.
Here is an example of how it can become more of a mind fuck.
You haven’t lived till your catheter has blocked and the person on the phone tells you to drink more water to flush it out and it doesn’t. Instead, all that wee had nowhere to go.
It was agony for three hours.
The support workers called the nurses back, but they said all the nurses are busy, which was wrong, a nurse later said that was bullshit.
I was in pain and they should have come to me right away.
The support workers called triple 0, and the answer was the nurses can deal with it.
This is where what you say isn’t taken seriously.
The support workers could see the pain, but on the other end of the phone they must have thought I was just seeking attention because I was disabled and support workers were fobbing me off to them
The people on the phone said put a hot water bottle on it, I didn’t want anything to touch me I was in so much pain.
Just take me seriously.
Just talk to us the same as anyone else.
Yes there are some people with a disability who need support to make decisions, but people are taking away our autonomy and decision making capacity with their patronising way of being with us.
Thank fuck I have the tummy catheter now. I just wet myself if it gets blocked.
I went to a Doctor who said "tell your story” I smiled at this, but then he said “once upon a time there was daddy bear, a mummy bear and girl bear called Samantha".
He went on like this until I said "enough please" I said "can I have some more cream please".
He said "good you said please".
He then said good girl
I went back with a letter stating how I felt, but I haven’t got time, or even the chance, to write everyone a letter who patronises me.
Where I live has been and is a big issue too.
I had to live with my parents for far too long.
P.S. I think parents should never be your support.
I will say carers because they are most definitely not support workers.
They are too close to you and don't allow you to grow as a being, don't allow you to make decisions.
We all know what parents are like, now imagine you can not get away.
And O yeah
My carer did some things to me that I didn't want to tell or couldn't tell or both because he was my carer. I just couldn’t, I wasn’t given a choice.
I was terrified of him dying because I could not see anything else.
Loving Dad, carer and abuser all in one person. I had to accept it all, sexual abuse and emotional abuse framed in adoration.
Later he would read the paper and say ‘these fucking peedofiles’
I so wish I could have gotten away.
For the longest time I felt responsible
I felt I was all wrong.
And you know what really pisses me off?
That I have to talk about him
He was in every part of my life, giving everything that he touched a yucky feeling.
I had a picture of me and my friends and he said I want a copy of that and he didn’t understand why refused him.
Dad wasn’t all bad and something must have happened to him,
Who knows, maybe the dementia had started way back then.
But he fucked up our lives so much.
I was saying to a friend, I don’t have to write about him here too do I?
One of my worries was that I will be seen as getting on the bloody bandwagon, but yeah so what if I am.
I was also worried that that bit of old ossified shit will overshadow the far greater shit going on now.
She said: yes, but it’s about your disability too isn’t it?
O fuck, I hadn’t thought of that.
You may still think why didn’t I say anything sooner?
About the other shit.
I eventually had an operation which reduced my Dystonia significantly.
I kind of learned to read and write and was able to move out, but then the Dystonia was getting worse again.
I was exhausted by just trying to live my life.
I kept having to go back to my parents because I was so tired.
I didn’t get enough funding for support.
I had another operation which gave me a stroke and all my hard won independence was gone like that.
And there Dad was - feeding me.
I spent 5 months in the hospital after my stroke and 18 months in a nursing home because I needed support and they didn't give me enough funding to get it at home.
The smell and the noise alone was horrible.
I had to give up my flat.
A friend of mine on Facebook said how good it was to be home after she was in hospital.
I never got to go home.
And you dare call me 'good girl'.
Just the horrible time trying to poo, I would be blocked up for 2 weeks, my insides feeling deader and deader.
They would resort to this stuff they stuck in my bum hole and then the pain of me shitting, it felt like it was tearing me a new one.
Then there were the suppositories, no one believed me that they would make me sick,
Not taken seriously again.
They said 20 mins to work, I spent all day sick and slowly shitting myself insane.
And some of the nurses go 'eew' They go 'eew' over something I have to do.
I’m not saying my shit smells like roses, but please.
And I kept hearing ‘no, family does that,’ whenever I needed help to do anything out of the ordinary.
People said you are strong, Sam.
Why do people say that?
I am so tired of people telling me I am strong.
Like what do they mean?
I can't help thinking it is so they feel better and I totally get that, but what about me.
I know I'm strong, but it only goes so far.
Like how strong do I need to be before I break?
In many ways you are as strong as the people around you and I didn't feel strength.
I had some lovely nurses, others were patronising; The main thing was their attitude, I was someone without a say to them, and that is still hard to shake off.
But I had the worst nurses too and they made my life hell.
I was someone heavy, someone that was making their job harder.
Every action I did would be greeted with suspicion or “go to sleep now.”
It wasn’t bad enough for management to really do anything, believe me I tried, but it was constantly there.
I not only had a stroke, but had to go through all that being treated as sub human too.
I complained to the counsellor about it.
She said 'now take a deep breath'.
I had told her I was mistreated , and she said 'take a breath'.
Dad would always say you make mountains out of mole hills.
Dads a bit of a mole hill now.
I really thought about killing myself.
I loved the little bit of life I had had, but wondered if it was worth it any more.
Before I even had the Op I was always so exhausted by coping with the Dystonia and most of all I found it so hard to interact with people.
I thought if the op didn’t work then I could decide.
I wished the doctors had just let me go for the longest time.
A good thing to come out of the stroke was I wasn’t exhausted all the time, because I can’t do much for myself, which is stinkingly ironic.
We were taken to a beach by the nursing home and I thought I could go back and roll off the pier, but knew that would be horrible for the people that had shown me the place to find out later I had done it there.
And then I got the offer of a place to live at that very beach.
I mean WHAT THE FUCK?
I don’t like telling people this, because if I needed to I do not want to be stopped, like for more medical reasons. But also, the mind is a medical thing too and part of me not needing to do it is telling you about it.
My support has been much better and I am back at uni, but I have been through so much and am going through so much that I often do crave that oblivion.
It’s not ok to call me good girl.
It’s not ok to feel kinda homeless for five years.
It’s not ok to misunderstand me so much.
My Dentist said I grind my teeth, and my left eye has twitches from time to time that has nothing to do with the Dystonia.
And you call me ‘good girl’.
The hospital O.T. said you can try and cook.
I thought no! No! No!
I’m not going to spend my time doing something which is so hard for me and that someone else can do easily.
My body used to hurt just to make a sandwich.
It was what drove me to have the op in the hope it would make things easier.
It’s uneconomical, how am I supposed to have a job too, where my skills and energy can be better used?
I was pushed into putting my bowl in the sink - something I still don’t get, it takes me ten times longer than it would a support worker.
I broke my favourite bowl.
Whenever I hear about a person with a disability managing to do something, I think, does it take the right amount of effort that that individual can maintain it while also having a good life.
I'm now in a place where I have mostly great 24 hour home support.
I go to bed when I need.
If I had a rough night I can sleep in.
I can come home late from a party and still go to bed.
I say "need" because that is exactly right. I need now to get what I can out of life.
I don't always need 24 hour support.
However, it's mostly there when I do need it.
But the house is far from my family and friends, it is quite small and there is so much hurt for us often through years of neglect, me included, and then we are all forced to live together.
In the video I made when I was at the nursing home I said how I was so looking forward to the quiet.
I really really really miss speech.
The support workers are great, but they have 5 other clients to support.
They were used to dealing with hostility so sometimes when I said something critical they would often see me as being hostile and would often be defensive.
Or maybe they can feel the years of misunderstanding welling up in side of me and don’t know what it is?
Maybe if I could have said something in the moment it wouldn’t be taken as such a big thing.
Often I just let it be because there is only so much I can write in a day and it would be so hard to make them understand because they are so busy.
I do not blame them and things have gotten better, but it’s the wrong environment for me and well, anyone I feel.
The room is so small I can only fit a single bed.
And I have more privacy in one of these public push button toilets.
A few people have said most people with a disability are hard to work with.
I could not help but get very depressed at this because every way you look at it, it really hurts on many levels.
They could be right and that makes me feel very alone.
Or they could be wrong, because how many other disabled people are still tormented by the system, by society not understanding them?
I can see this horrible feedback loop of able bodied people not thinking and not treating us right, and the person with a disability getting fed up with it all and with our often limited forms of communication lashing out or seems like we are lashing out, and able bodied people getting all defensive and not treating the situation right, and the person with a disability getting ever more fed up, lashing out yet more.
Anger becomes the default response on both sides.
It can start so small.
I could feel it happening to me and all the time I’ve got to fight it.
Then they say things like ‘good girl’.
O you bloody mother fucker.
I find it hard to cry now.
How are we meant to have feelings of our own.
How are we meant to empower ourselves with the constant misunderstanding.
You may think, well you are talking.
My reply is
However, I'm afraid of leaving my current mostly great support.
I have experienced indifferent support before and do not want to experience it again, nor do I want to experience inadequate support.
The N D I S is meant to make us equal members of society, so therefore I should be able to move.
However, I'm scared the N D I S is not going to be what it promises.
I am scared that I am not going to get enough time to poo in the morning.
I can take up to an hour sometimes.
Let alone all the other stuff.
I have a kind of life now and I’m scared of having that taken away due to a lack of support.
I had been offered a lovely place to live, but the funding wasn’t approved yet and it had been months.
Months of me biting my hands off.
It was terrifying because I may not get the funding after all that and these years of waiting would continue.
I chucked all I could at them and then got my wonderful network to chuck all they could too.
Most of the time your emails are not replied to.
Most of your phone calls go nowhere.
Meetings are hard to get and when you do, you don’t always get what they say you will get.
Is there enough funding so that the N D I S can fix the problem?
People keep saying that the N D I S is costing more than they thought.
They ask what support do you already have? Like your family or friends?
I feel like screaming at them. ‘No’ Never going back there.
But really you’re asking me to mix business with pleasure.
My family is my family and totally unsuitable and my friends are my friends. How dare you ask.
How dare you ask?
I always try to put as little as possible upon them because really it’s a job and I don’t want friendship becoming a job.
On the other hand people want to help and often a support worker can get in the way of building relationships.
I find it very tricky to find the balance.
And the support workers don’t get paid enough so you are still being grateful they are working for you, which isn’t the best feeling either.
I could pay them more, but I only get a capped amount of funding each year.
Again I end up asking myself "am I worth it?"
I am so worth it.
We are all worth it, but getting everyone to see me is the hard part.
Hi, Hi, Hey I'm here.
The N D I S has a huge job on its hands - turning around generations of neglect.
And funding is only half the problem.
People are the other half.
I am very happy with a support worker who understands me, but that is rare.
It is exhausting having to type so much because my politics doesn’t align, often I have to let things go, like if they throw away a bottle of milk with a little left in it.
And you call me ‘good girl’.
In the past I had reason to feel very trapped.
I now have a phobia about being left in bed and the shower chair.
When I was in hospital the staff only generally got me up at 10 or 11am and put me into bed at 5 or 6pm.
Even when it was lovely and sunny outside, they had to.
My bed became a prison again.
Even my physiotherapist said it was bad for me to be in bed so much.
Even now I find it hard to sleep in.
To some extent I was tired, but not that much.
I was left on the shower chair too long too.
Once I was on there for 3 hours.
1 hour trying to poo and two hours waiting.
It was my birthday, and I felt trapped when a nurse was on that I didn’t like because I had no choice in them supporting me.
And now I have no choice again, but it’s a bit better.
I will have choice in my new place, but support workers are in higher demand now with the N D I S, so will I really have any choice in who I use?
And most of them are poorly trained.
You can learn on the job with me, but you need to trust me and trust yourself in knowing what I want, some find that hard to do and I have had some support workers who haven’t had a clue.
I don’t fear scary movies or even getting up in front of all of you.
I fear being trapped.
I get all shaky and feel awful inside, and I say "hey stop it" to myself.
Again I think part of the problem is the pay, it really isn’t enough, which leads to people just falling into the job.
Often when you do get a good one they are on their way to something else.
Then again a lot of nurses and doctors get paid more and they haven’t understood me.
One wonders how they got the job sometimes.
I’m afraid in the new place I will either have to put up with support workers that don’t understand me and/or I will be stuck in bed and this terrifies me!
But I can not be here for the rest of my days, I have to live.
And I will hopefully be in my own place so maybe I’ll finally get some respect.
The other night after the BUS opening I got off the train and everything felt so beautifully quiet and still.
I looked up at the full moon for a while.
I’m afraid of it fucking up, but was more afraid of not getting the chance.
I had caught up on my emails when I was on the train and I had read the one saying that they had granted me the funding I needed to live in the new flat.
So here I stand, on the brink.
Support workers need to get paid more, advocacy, advocacy.
But also, attitudes need to change.
And not just because I’m speaking here.
A new support worker said "what a good girl" as I put my bowl in the sink.
‘what a good girl’
‘what a good girl’
‘what a good girl’
‘what a good girl’
‘what a good girl’
‘what a good girl’
‘what a good boy’
‘what a good girl’
‘what a good girl’
‘what a good girl’
I have had teachers at uni with doctorates say things to the effect that I am very smart.
Of course this only deepens my crush on them.
And we should not be thinking about intelligence because it should not, should not ever matter.
But I still boil inside because I find so many people assume the opposite.
Like when I point to something on a menu and the waiter goes to my support worker ‘is she allowed this?’.
I know you could say it is just some people, but there is a lot of some people and no matter how well intended it may be, by saying "good girl" or "good boy" an individual is saying to another individual they are wiser than they are and that should not be said to anyone, not even kids.
So yeah, I wear PJ pants.
There is a lot of hurt here and it's so hard because I know you're just being nice, you didn't intend anything bad and I hope you understand a bit more now and definitely, definitely don't want to shut you up.
Just please don't call me good anything.
And is anyone interested in becoming a badly paid support worker to a messed up person like me? 😄
Thank you for listening.