I’m honestly floored by the stuff some of my mentally ill and blind comrades and friends have been through. Among the new friends I’m making are people with multiple identities, and this lady from Ireland who’s pretty sweet, but she has like a billion personalities, one of them on her email as Carol Anne. She’s sweet. I think she stands behind me all the time when she sees my stuff. There’s a lady called Laura Lyn, who’s really cool. She has the same thing that Carol Anne does. Up until now, I’d never heard of dissociative identity disorder, and never heard what it was like. Now I see. I’m glad honestly that I’ve been on this new list for a while. I love the moderator. She understands me and really works with all of us. I find common ground with a lot of the blind and mentally ill comrades and friends I’ve so far met.
There’s lots of stuff on the list, and there’s a drop box folder full of books and stuff. I’ve never seen but one mental health documentary or movie in there, but I’ve got to see one. It fascinates me that there are books about mental illness and psychotic episodes. I recommended a couple books myself. The books I recommended involved police and social work collaboration. They were great books.
Now, to the subject of this post. We blind and mentally ill people are sometimes faced with parental guardianships, and sometimes in our teenage years, we have to be in therapy. We discussed HIPA’s relationship with patients and therapists who are either wards or in their teens. There are a few things I can’t tell my therapists in Florida. I would never tell my parents about the following subjects and we all know why. I’m writing about these things in my blog, and only because they allow me to let others know what is going on.
1. I cannot talk about the stuff my mom did to me when I was little. Ok, Blake and I were discussing the whole keeping one’s head in a steady and still position as a blind person. But my mother and dad didn’t like it even when I was born, and Mom says I did it so much while sitting. Well, she got pissed. I can’t remember one specific incident, but I do remember some times when Mom would threaten to do the whole Dunce Cap sign routine with me while I was walking around in public. She wanted me to wear a sign. A printed sign would read: keep your head still. I’m sick of people thinking that even this particular sign would stop the child from doing that unthinkable habit. I cannot even tell my therapist about this because what will happen is that they will ask me further questions, and I’ve written about this on an NFB list, only to be judged by both moderators and some others. The moderator of the NFB NABS list was judgmental, and did not understand that … well, he didn’t understand that I had nothing to do with those stupid rumors, and when I wrote about my head issue, he never even spoke up once. I’m sorry, but NFB wants 100% independence, but use of obsession with head rocking habits oftentimes will thwart the other stuff. The most recent incidence that the head rocking was put on the hot seat was in Tallahassee, and my O and M instructor was not so instructed by me, but my parents no less to count how many times my head was rocking. It’s not a good or safe way to go ahead and train someone in mobility. There’s no way to stop the head rocking by this time, after all the threats, the yelling, and worst of all, my ear being used as a microphone. My mother would try and slap me across one side of my head, especially if it were rocking and she got pissed. It still gets to me today because for one, the head rocking was obsessively talked about by both parents, but not me. I was more worried about wanting to cross streets. I wanted to be free, but my parents wanted another goal: to walk a straight line without head rocking. Well, did the O and M instructor really see what went on at four? No. Did the Tallahassee Light House of the Big Bend really look into the abusive and rather horrific situation that occurred while my head would rock? Did they look at the Stevie Wonder comments I got from folks at FSDB? Um, … you guessed it. No. This is something I’m breaking my silence about, but therapists thank Goodness will never read this. I haven’t given my old therapists in Florida access to my blog, but my parents can’t talk about this any longer because they’ve destroyed any and all trust I had regarding this issue.
2. I cannot say anything about boyfriends and relationships with a therapist in Florida any longer. Every time my counselors were told, “Beth is obsessed with …”, I’d say I loved the person. Love. Obsession. Can you feel the difference? I don’t think my parents could ever see the difference. What they’re obsessed with themselves is the way you look at someone in the … yes, eyes. When you’re romancing with someone, you look at the pretty eyes. This is why I’m not dating or marrying a sighted person, period. I will not ever be physical with a sighted person because they like the pretty eye thing. I don’t have eyes that work, and my eyes are closed all the time. The sighted Mr. Right might say, “But darling, I want to see what’s in them.” Boy, he’d be in for a surprise when he sees milky fluids and weird stuff floating around my corneas. Ewwwwwww.
3. I can’t even discuss sex and sexual history with therapists in Florida. And I won’t write about it here. I can’t even discuss the thought of wanting sex. I do have normal desires, and my parents have met these desires with scorn and jeering. I honestly have the same old sexual stuff that everybody else has. It’s not overdoing it. I’m not a predator nor am I a pervert. I don’t watch pornography. I have never looked a Playgirl or Playboy or Penthouse or anything weird. So you know, I don’t want sex because the guy is hot in the body. I look at the guy’s other characteristics that I can pick up on. So when I talk about sex with a therapist in Florida, parents find out and go, “You aren’t in a position to have a baby.” I tried to tell Dad this same thing over the phone just as a way to say, “You will not stop me from having sex.” He goes, “You’re not in a position to have a baby.” The Catholic doctrine says that sex is for babies and babies only, but guess what? Some women can’t have a baby. If Blake couldn’t, well, we’d be happy to just stay as ourselves, or we could adopt. Theresa Bradley, my old cane teacher for many years, has made the decision not to have kids. And yet she still has feelings for her husband, and that’s cool. What is sex for? I say it’s all up to the person or persons to decide what it’s for, not a couple of selfish parents who want to keep practicing a materialistic and money obsessed belief that can’t stand against what God has planned for both me and a partner.
4. I can’t discuss past counseling sessions with my parents and therapists. My current therapists are great and more supportive, but I don’t want my parents monopolizing the goals and the recovery markers that my therapists have seen. My parents could say, “She’s obsessed with Blake.” Oh well. My therapists will probably say, “And this is because?” Again, going back to item 2. I will not discuss my love life with a therapist that is in the state of Florida.
I wrote this post because I was inspired to do so after reading stuff on the mental health blindness list. The moderator, a lady called Sam Nelson, who is by the way the coolest person and the most understanding person on the whole planet Earth, has told me that what happened in my therapy past is unacceptable. She’s really stood up for me, and all of us on the list agree that parental guardianship for someone like me who can speak for herself is unreal and unbelievably wrong. I find that this list does not advocate suicide, which is good. We’re all supporting each other’s recovery efforts, and we’re talking right now about many other stuff and things. Sam is talking about getting the logistics of a program in order, and it’s almost the same stuff all blind people face: worksheets. Ugh. I hate worksheets. I’ve been there, done that, and I can relate so much. I love this list, and I must say, I can say just about anything. I was reminded only once about the way to address trigger warnings, and I’ve seen a couple of those. It’s a good list though, and there are some things that I’ve been able to get off my chest. The stuff I posted above was inspired by a thread that yours truly started, one about client and therapist trust issues. Well, the counselors and therapists in Florida were absolutely awful. They were not supportive and did not tell my parents to shut up and stop the emotional torture of “You’re an obsessive little …” They kept calling me spoiled or an ungrateful and spoiled little child even in my preteen and adolescent years. For one, my own children could be in danger. Now, those are things I can’t tell therapists if I’m in my teens or in the current state I’m in.
For one, what teenager would tell a therapist she’s in love with a boy and had sex with him? What real teenager in her right mind would say, I’m pregnant and want to keep the baby? Watch Fifteen and pregnant, and you’ll see why. Teenage pregnancy is a problem in America, and I know it may sound welcome in Africa, but African cultures allow arranged marriages to older men to occur among teenage girls. I find it stupid. Here, you can’t marry until you are eighteen. This I say is reasonable. This is because a girl is seriously not developed enough in her teenage years, and we have scientific and empirical evidence that suggests the brain is still not quite there yet. The prefrontal cortex is still cutting and tying itself and going here and there at that age, and teenagers are not ready to make those kinds of decisions about marriage and sex. To be placed in a marriage with a really bad guy is not favorable for the girl. Africa also has the highest rate of maternity deaths anywhere, so it’s no surprise that America is trying to end teenage pregnancy. I have seen friends and a cousin pregnant at seventeen, and my cousin had a baby when I saw her at that age. Baby Alyssa was absolutely cute and pretty, but she was so tiny! The mother was only seventeen, and if she were in Africa, she’d surely die because the way Alyssa was born, there was a complication with the placenta and stuff. That’s what was explained to me. African doctors and healers do not have enough knowledge half the time to care for a mother. Birth attendants in Ethiopia just don’t know what they’re doing to the poor child brides. In America, girls should be allowed to dream big, and that’s just that. I broke up with Deq because of the risks my daughters would have been put into. Their would be uncle Ibrahim, his dear brother, said to me once that FGM, female circumcision, or in Somali words, Gudniin, is wrong and oppressive with any group of people. Gudniiin is a bad thing, so bad for women because there’s a book that talks about it and I know the person who wrote said book. Sadly, I can’t seem to talk further with this wonderful lady, I don’t know if she’s ever able to write much English on her wall. But she’s doing lots to try and end the practice of female circumcision.
Phew! I can’t talk to a therapist about all I’ve written, and girls here in the U.S. are just some of the saddest ever in this world because of parents like … well, like the parents who sold their daughter for sex. Or parents who don’t let their daughter out of the house. Or the parents who just hate their daughter because either she’s imperfect or what have you. That’s all I can say for now.