Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…


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vindication

it’s a strange title for the piece i want to write today.  it’s a strange notion on its own.  still, it is the overall feeling that i took home from the recent trip to maryland for the gender spectrum east symposium.

first let’s look at the word in this definition from merriam webster dictionary.

everyone clear? because all of the various meanings in this entry are what i feel upon reflection of the past few days events.  but i suppose first it would be fitting to explain a few of the reasons, or circumstances, that preclude the need of vindication.

first there is the fact that my daughter is both transgender and autistic.  as regular readers of my blog are aware.  this in itself would not require a parent to have a desire to feel vindication.  but any good parent has doubts as to the child-rearing methods they employ.  we all want to ‘do right’ by our children.  and there exists no dearth of opinions both for and against the way in which we proceed.

this is especially true of parents whose children are “divergent” (by the way, this movie by the same name is a good allegory for our society and its fear of those who don’t easily fit its slots)

we are held up to scrutiny by strangers, by family, friends, and by professionals that believe we should do things their way.  sometimes well-meaning individuals even feel it necessary to report us or our methods to child protection services.  and frequently doctors, specialists, teachers and other ‘authority’ figure types try to bully us into changing our way.

for example, right after the very first vaccination given to zee, she began to have terrible seizures.  they lasted for about 12 months, terrible at first, then tapering off.  i knew that it was caused by the shot… i knew i would never allow another vaccination to be given her.  and of course, you can imagine the flack i have taken for this decision.  but many children who have a ‘bad reaction’ to the ‘shots’ are subsequently diagnosed with autism.  now there is no proof by which i can feel vindicated in this instance,  but she no longer has seizures, and has never had a sick day in her life…even when other children, vaccinated children, were coming down with things the shots were supposed to protect against.  no measles, no mumps, no chicken pox…no dreaded flu or whooping cough.

but as to my decision to homeschool zee, i have often heard the same caution.  it goes something like:

“well of course, one on one education in the homeschool situation is good for learning most things…but what about socialisation?”

even the most well meaning of my friends and family, as well as counselors and professional people have raised this question.  but in my experience, schools are horrible places to learn socialising skills, especially for the ‘divergent’.   there are  bullies,  teachers often don’t have the time or inclination to intervene, and one is not rewarded for socialising during class time…but rather, is punished for it.

i’ve not had opportunity to know whether  or not i was depriving my daughter of this skill, one that is already difficult for many autistic people.  then this magickal weekend at the gender spectrum event happened.  and unlike the previous one she attended in berkeley, (where she didn’t have much of good show of those skills) she was an absolute butterfly!  even the volunteers that looked after the tweens were pleasantly surprised at how unguarded and open she was.

for my part i was nearly blown away, when she, faced with a tight squeeze to sit at the craft table and make her name tag, paused only briefly before shrugging it off by saying:  “well, socialisation is important for me so…”  even two years ago this had been a nearly impossible feat for her.  lack of schooling in a public school hadn’t crippled her after all…and being autistic, which often means social awkward-ness, 10628112_594366457359671_3795345244803197134_n 10151146_594366544026329_4318594729212057215_n 10734180_594366524026331_6456139925374766851_n had not stood in the way.

there is another aspect to this weekend having given me a sense of vindication.  the other transgender children…and their supportive parents, family and friends.  seeing acceptance in action, the good it brings, both serves to prove to me that the path we have chosen is the right one, and give me hope for the future.

i had a couple of experiences recently that make me want to vent…but for today’s post, i just wanted to bask in the glow of vindication.

 

 

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unseen hands

it is an interesting life, this life the universe has woven for me. hard not to take things personally. like the blessing of a child in my late years. especially one as unique and challenging as is my beautiful ziona.

i was 48 years old when she was born. a small, pre-term child whose mother, my daughter, would never have been able to raise. my daughter had abandoned her first born child, my first grand-daughter, cypress. and it was clear to the personelle at the hospital where the emergency C-section was performed that the mother of the child they had just delivered shouldn’t have a child to raise. they knew she had ‘lost’ the first child she’d birthed, knew that the state had gotten involved after the one month old infant had been dumped off at her father’s house while she went off and partied for over a month. they knew that while pregnant with the one they’d just delivered, the mother had received no pre-natal treatment, and was on drugs. they overheard her talking with the boyfriend, who was not the baby’s father, about leaving the preemie, who needed to stay in NICU for a while, at the hospital and going out to get some drugs and party.

my daughter called me, after months of not hearing from her. by that time, a social worker had already been called in. i learned of this later. on the phone my daughter sounded her usual irrational self, even intimated that she planned to leave the baby at the hospital, she admitted wishing she’d never been pregnant and didn’t want the child. shocked by her words, i admonished her, not nicely. i told her she couldn’t just go around getting pregnant and then abandoning her kids. she hung up on me.

frantic that she would really leave the child at the hospital, holding the phone that had just gone dead to my ear, i realised that i didn’t even know the name of the hospital, only that it was in san diego…hundreds of miles away!

i called the san diego sheriff’s department for a list of hospitals in the area, especially ones that would treat an indigent pregnant woman, and after a few phone calls found the one! tho reluctant and in a clever ‘bend the rules’ kind of way the nurse on the other end of one of the phone calls i made merely answered “yes” when i explained the situation and asked if ‘her hospital would be a good place to start’. i had only gone through half of the list of 25 or so hospitals.

i knew that my daughter had probably initiated labor, with a crochet hook, the way she had wanted to with the first child. she wanted cypress to be born on 11/11 of that year, despite the fact she wasn’t due until 12/21. the reason was that the number was ‘magickal’. at the time she was living with me. i told her she mustn’t do it! that it could result in an abrupted placenta and emergency C-section which could be very dangerous to both her and the baby. i watched her like a hawk. made sure she went to her ob/gyn appointments…in the end the cypress was born through natural labor in a local hospital.

because she had ‘threatened’ to initiate labor with the first child, for no better reason than a magickal date, i was very suspicious about what might have happened that this new baby had been born by emergency C-section due to an abrupted placenta, and even more so when she said “what a chill birthday huh? 4/20!” (which is a number that has something to do with pot, tho i don’t know why)

my suspicions were confirmed when the surgeon spoke to my after my arrival at the hospital and mentioned small rounded areas of bruising near the placental abruption. the surgeon had already surmised that this might have been the case, another reason why social services had been involved.

when i arrived at the hospital, i was approached by not only the surgeon and nurses, but also social workers and a psychiatrist. before i could see my daughter they wanted to know whatever i could tell them about her. but as she had not been in contact with me since she’d found out she was pregnant, and not for several years before that, there was little i could say.

the first time i laid eyes on the tiny form in the incubator at NICU i nearly cried. a little bones and skin, 4 pound 7 oz body, with wires and tubes leading in and out of it. the child should’ve been born a full two months later! instead, here it lay.

my daughter had not even held the child by the time i got there. and when i asked to see the baby, the nurses led me to NICU while she opted not to come along. one of the social workers had already intimated to me that child protective services had been contacted because of what the doctors all suspected. i knew that unless i insisted on raising the child, it would be in the system soon. as a close blood relative, i had certain rights. and the staff involved with the case were more than relieved to know that i wanted the baby.

they insisted tho, that my daughter sign over legal custody to me, before i could take the child home with me. they worried that without that protection she could simply ‘reclaim’ the baby at some later point, without investigation into whether the child would be safe with her. as it was, she declined my offer for her to come home with me so that she could be with her baby, until such time as child protective services deemed her fit. she didn’t want to raise the child. she wanted to run off right away with her latest ‘boytoy’. it was all i could do to keep her in the area long enough to have the legal paperwork done.

i think often of how different my life might have been had my daughter been willing and able to raise this beautiful child, now 9 years old. i think how empty it would’ve been; how dull. and i know that my daughter could never have provided for ziona as i do.

the universal weaver knew that too!

the universe knew that i was uniquely suited to this child’s needs. that the developmental delays would be discovered and diagnosed early as autism, and appropriate therapies provided, since i had done volunteer work with kids who are neuro-diverse. that the ability and leisure i possess to homeschool ziona when the public schools had failed her (which failure was immediate),would ensure an option for her education. even that the past experiences in my life of people who were gender-fluid, or outright transgender would allow me to be understanding and supportive of ziona’s need to be a girl.

so here we are! my adopted, transgender 9 year old daughter, with her whole life in front of her, a companion in these,my gray-haired years and myself, a woman astonished by providence.

how wonderful, how intricate the tapestry of life is woven by those Unseen Hands!


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A line in the sand drawn with a chicken beak

because it ISN’T just about ONE man’s words…it is about people lining up to ‘appreciate’ the culture of inequality and hate that are symbolised by this man’s words….people lining up to support denial of civil rights to a group of people…no different than people lining up to support white only restaurants a few decades ago.

a kiss in is a good response, but more than that a boycott by all queer and queer-friendly people…by pflag, by every lgbt person in america.

it will probably be more healthy for us in the long run. but it might hit this asshole and his hate sponsors (of the chick-fil-a franchises) where it hurts…in the wallet!

read on

A line in the sand drawn with a chicken beak.


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of pride and prejudice

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yesterday a rally was held in a local park, by people upset by the pensacola mayor’s proclamation of gay pride week to be recognised for mid-june.  the upset people were largely dyed-in-the-wool bible-thumpers, and the event was arranged by the wife of a pastor of one of these congregations, who is currently in prison for tax fraud. the group applied for and got permission to use the park from 12 noon to 1 p.m. 

gay grassroots and other lgbt friendly groups and persons decided to have a small demonstration of support for the mayor and our community.  altho barred from actually conducting our demo in the park proper, we stood with our signs our rainbow flags, our lovers, pastors and children directly across the street from the rally.

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altho the mayor’s proclamation did NOT legalise gay marriage, very soon after our group was in place, a group of folk associated with the rally assembled across the street from us, spouting slogans like “it’s adam and eve, not adam and steve”, and randomly quoting their ‘good book’ with specific scriptures that condemned us to hell. 

their rally had been themed  ‘a call to righteousness’  which i found a bit contrary to their own professed christian faith. we had pastors, church-going christians, members of the community who aren’t themselves gay, bi or transgender but who stood in support of equal rights for lgbt people.  so were people on our side of the street, no matter the flavor of their lifestyles, condemned as ‘un-righteous’?

of course the judgey folk on the park side of the street had to reach way back into the old testament for their condemnations, completely missing the point that the ‘new commandment’  given by jesus required. he said things like, “judge not, lest ye be judge”, and “love thy neighbor as thy self”, “love one another” etc. which fact when we brought it up was countered with “we love the sinner but hate the sin”.

that was clearly just not true. we were being judged, and their prejudice didn’t stop at our own alleged sins.  at one point, a man from ‘their’ side of the street engaged me in conversation attempting to terrorise me with hell, not just for me, but for ziona as well. he tried to shame me, not only because i am queer, but because i am leading my daughter, who looks up to me and follows me, straight to hell with me.

guess he hadn’t read the shirt i was wearing which boasted, “my kid’s transgender, if that’s a problem – get some help”, for had he known she was transgender he’d no doubt have believed she was earning her own way to hell.   ( their own god forbid they should realise that some among us count ourselves pagan!)

so who are the righteous ones? those who love and judge not? those who support the rights of even folk that oppose their very existence? aren’t any that do other than these merely self-righteous?

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my daughter and i left before the entire event had transpired.  the hippocracy and judgementalism  was more than i could bare on an empty stomach. it wasn’t coming from my side of the street, but from the side of the street that was convinced of their righteousness and of our lack there of.  

my daughter takes pride in who she is, i take pride in her strength to demand the world see her as she is. it isn’t unrighteous to take pride in being just whom god intended us to be. and ancient words mis-translated from a book written in the times during which women were slightly higher up the pecking order than cattle, and slavery was an acceptable practice shouted across a public street at our peaceful gathering, won’t convince me of anything other than the shouter’s prejudice.

 

 

 

 


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while my dog lay dying

this is one of those, “etc” pieces that i sometimes leave on this blog.
in a way, it is about the sadness of losing a friend.
it is also about choices and awareness.

as i sit at the keyboard of my ‘get by’ MSI notebook, (my usual computer having suffered a massive stroke in its hard drive, dead now, and part of my growing collection of laptops-turned-paperweight) listening to “lucy jordan” by marianne faithfull, my dog of six years is laying by my side, dying.

i have called in a home-visit vet to come and give the injection that will help the process along. if i didn’t have sjogren’s as one of the chronic manifestations of sle my face would doubtless be drenched in salty rivers.

sometime during the weeks long roadtrip my daughter and i took, benji must have gotten ill. otherwise, how to explain this sudden death. two days ago, i was outside while benji went out to relieve himself. i happened to see, the color of his urine was almost pitch black. it was after hours for a vet, but i knew that even did we get into the office immediately, it was already too late.

the next day benji wouldn’t take water, even if forced. nor would he eat. last night he lay by my side as i slept on the floor, like usual. but in his breath i could her the rattle that means death is at the door. today, i called the ark hospital and asked them to send a veterinarian to help him pass on.

they asked me if i wanted to bring him into the office.

my lover of ten years, who died 6 years ago chose to die at home. we helped both of his aging parents to ‘cross over’ from the comfort of their home as well. when i am dying the last place i want to be is in a hospital.

i told them that it would be more comfortable for him to die at home.

the person on the phone tried to convince me that perhaps there is something still that could be done. i know better. i have seen death, many times.

death is messy. when it happens the body releases more than the spirit it sends into the ether. (yes, i believe…been there, done that) there’s all the orifices letting go their contents. there’s the hours spent in holding hands, (or paws) while your own eyes unleash cascades of tears.

ziona loves the dog. but she is blissfully unfocused on the happenings, busying herself with what she usually does of a day…playing xbox, watching movies, acting out scenes in her bedroom with her godzilla toys. autism can be kind, i guess.

the veterinarian will arrive soon, with a shot of kindness. then i will bury my old friend, and plant a garden above his grave.

i keep going over the ‘what ifs’ in my head. what if i hadn’t gone on our trip when i did. would i have seen symptoms, been able to get him to a vet before it was too late? what if i walked him everyday, instead of simply opening the back door to let him out to pee? maybe i would’ve seen his urine becoming darker.

i’m alone in my grief.

the other dogs seem to know something is wrong, but are content to run around playing, chasing and doing doggie things. the cats only turn their noses up at the smell when they pass by benji and i. and my daughter, plays her games, goes into her room to watch a movie or make believe disasters with her dinosaurs.

my lack of awareness of a problem no doubt added to the situation; my faithful friend, laying near me, dying. i’ll never know for sure.

but i choose for him to die at home, like i will want to when the time comes.

we only accept cash or credit, the vet told me. it isn’t cheap. a home visit, a shot of kindness. more expensive since it is off-hours and the office isn’t open until monday. my choice not to wait. my choice not to pay with credit card, since the following month’s billing statement would be a bitter reminder.

i’m sad.
it’s never easy to say goodbye.


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the freak…reblogged

found this on kira moore’s closet
then visited the home site of adreyo’s poetry

enjoy!

the home site for this poem
________________________________________________________
The Freak
by adreyopoetry

How old were you
When they told you
You were
An aberration
When they gave you
Names
That told you of
Your
Filthiness
How long have you
Lived with
Childish childhood
Curses
Sissy
Crybaby
Princess
Idiot
Spastic
Fool
Retard
Bastard
Worthless
Branded on your
Back
Like so many
Rivers
Of hate
How long have you

Accepted their
Judgment
That you are
Thoroughly
Fucked up
That your are a
Freak show
Somehow still
Wriggling your
Loathsome manifesto
Of abnormality
That you should be
Hacked painfully
Into little
Normative pieces
And fed to the
Monsters
That lie at the
Feet
Of the beautiful.