I understand some of you might be wondering, what’s the good news? Well, I’m in the process of terminating the long held song and dance tomfoolery that was the guardianship affair that took place in November 2004. It was wrong of my parents to have it, and it was also wrong of my parents to demand a doctor after fifteen years fill out a form that says I don’t need a guardian. Why it took fifteen years I’ll never understand, but even though I’m happy, there are things I’ll never get back from those fifteen years. I will never have a child who is probably healthy, and not at 21 years old. Though I was old enough to vote and drink, I was not allowed to date. Dating is the only way I feel that you should get to know your significant other anyway, so having had this experience for a while, I can tell you it’s not fun. Here are a few things I might try as a strategy for keeping this guardianship from coming back, and for anyone else for that matter.
- I want an apology from the county in Florida where this was. I demand an apology, after all believing parents over teenagers is common, but putting a disabled child as I was at a disadvantage as an adult is not what the county and state should have done. They should have told my parents clearly that “You have to teach your daughter about sexual offenders and predators.” Well, I had to teach myself that, through a parent’s handbook, predators have specific grooming behavior and there are a lot of things they do and don’t do that warn someone that they are indeed a predator. My parents never would have thought it possible to teach a blind person about sexual predators, but guess what? I’ve seen a few blind men who are predators, no names here, and there are women predators too. I’m seriously considering having my own future kids learn about predators but there has to be a book that talks about the subject without broaching it as a scary topic. Therapeutic stories are a good way to heal from such, but I want to inoculate my kids from sexual predators even on the Internet. Yes, they will have to give up a few safety locks if they are special, and internet support groups are a good thing. Teenagers should keep in touch with teenagers, nonetheless, but adult mentors are essential for disabled folks. More below.
- I want my parents to apologize personally to me and Trenton. They should apologize for having had this guardianship for fifteen years, and putting the ball in my court for no reason, and for inconveniencing Trenton so he couldn’t marry me. They should also apologize for labeling me an internet addict. I’m not for the record. I am never going to say that I am an addict, simple as that, because really, I’m not. And if anyone asks, I’ll just say, some people just like to tell lies about others to get them down. I was down for five years, denied a chance to get training initially in Colorado before I got the CAP folks on Beth Crain, the DVR counselor I had at the time. I was transferred to Tiffany Wilson, who was instrumental in supporting my efforts to get through training, and thank God I was out of Florida’s hands by the end, but not before five years of isolation, no prom, no dances, no dating, no house buying, or marriage, or the things humans experience every day. My parents took all that away because they were jealous, unworthy of what they would call the highest level of Heaven, but let’s face it. Even I’m not going to any high level of that sort of realm, but my parents were also jealous of the wealth and riches and fame I could have had for my singing, my playing the piano, and all my musical accomplishments. They wanted all the credit for this, and a pure Virgin Mary of a daughter and not a daughter that went out and did normal things. They were very cruel because when I was interested in someone, it became for them a mental health case. This is not how you treat your child with a disability, and an autistic child should be honored for their quirks and differences. It should not be the opposite, which I’m sad to say that Julia the muppet from Sesame Street is a good example. Sesame Street should never have partnered with Autism Speaks, and I hate that org as much as anyone else should, but Autism Speaks is hogging the spotlight away from the Autism Self Advocacy Network, and the same with the Foundation Fighting Blindness doing the same taking the spotlight away from ACB and NFB. Both orgs are for blind people, and they fight for what we want. I would like to commend the NFB for one thing and one thing only, for protecting my right to parent. I’d like to commend the ACB for another thing though. Audio description is a big focus over there, and their audio description project has liberated me to watch movies and hit shows on Hulu and Netflix and the new Disney Plus. I’m not kidding. We’re happy that Trenton and I can watch things like Star Wars, Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, and yes, we can even watch the Santa Claus but Home Alone yet will become described, and I hope that is the case. Cool Runnings is great, and if you believe in a Jamaican bobsled team, go watch it sometime. Anyway, really, my parents don’t realize what these blind orgs are doing for the nation, the world, the whole universe when it comes to blindness. I’m different but not so different after all, but as a human being, I deserve dignity and grace beyond what these fools had when they got guardianship in 2004. I want to make sure I don’t have any next steps. Read below.
- I expect an apology from anyone who opposed my independence. This includes judges, lawyers, and anyone else who resides in Brevard County. An apology should come with the following things: compensation funds, money to buy a house, and maybe we should punish my parents by making them pay for the wedding and all the things their first born daughter’s kids get. I want my kids not to have to rely on charities simply because the parental units are blind or black, and I won’t have my kids starving and looking through trash bags for dinner. Ugh. So, in light of this, I’m going to have my parents sued or ask the state and county as well as my family to compensate for stealing fifteen years of my life, holding my rights hostage, and all that. It would have been a lot worse if I was seventeen. Well, guess what? I’m 33 years old now, and Trenton and I really want to be able to move on, but how can we if our children will starve and have to dig through the garbage in order to eat? I won’t let that happen, and my child won’t be starving and digging through trash bags or even worse, if Trump says disabled women and men are to be thrown out of the United States, we’d have to pack our bags and take the children with us to Canada. Period. That’s it. And Canadian authorities should know that Trump is a massive disaster waiting to explode on the disabled community.
While I’m sure that some of you think this good news is overshadowed by bad news, it is clear that as a human being I should be happy. But fifteen years is too much goddamn time spent with my rights held hostage, not allowed to leave, told who and with whom to spend my life or time with, what to do and how to exercise, etc. I won’t be going to the Titusville YMCA by the way, and that’s because it’s not a safe space for me to see people and exercise. I’d rather have my own exercise bike, and have it sitting in the apartment so we can exercise because the bike downstairs has a touchscreen and doesn’t do well with blind people. There’s a damn treadmill down there, but it’s also touchscreen usable, not usable by a blind person. Most modern gym equipment these days comes from Boflex, and that connects to an inaccessible app. I just want a used spin bicycle so I can bike my way around and get stronger that way. I want to focus on the cardio, not have to deal with oh, which way to turn, which landmarks to do, it slows me down. If I don’t do brisk walks, though, I won’t get the weight off that I gained so much of. However, there’s just too much in the way of barriers. Barriers to exercise and living in an apartment suck so I won’t go there. If my parents had their brains turned on, they’d notice something. I live in a shack, a bug infested thing at times, and it’s also got some black mold on the ceiling sometimes in the shower, and we didn’t have the right mildew or mold remover. Costly, right? Yes, it costs money. And I’m not about to say why I won’t buy it, but I want contributions from all members of my household who are of the age of majority to cleaning crap anyway. Yes, we pay rent, and cable is the only way to watch certain things described, so we’re screwed. Cord cutting should have more options, not just YouTube TV. If we don’t bundle, our Internet price will be so high we couldn’t afford it.
My parents and family and the state and county will have to owe me the following specific points in their apology:
- We’re sorry we screwed up your whole life for fifteen years.
- We’re stupid and ignorant when it comes to disability and blindness.
- We don’t know anything about the National Federation of the Blind, and we certainly don’t care about the American council of the Blind either.
- And this is very important. The state of Florida should owe me anything, the money in the amount of $150,000,000 for the rest of my whole life because at this fifteen year cycle, a lot of my previous classmates and friends are now either married in first or second relationships, have children, or stepchildren, or even more, they own houses and work. I can’t work because who’s gonna hire someone with fifteen years experience as a prisoner? In the guardianship world, there is no room for error. I will be working on a podcast with several folks from the FB Probate Warriors group on Facebook, and hopefully I can get people to get interviews on this podcast. Dr. Sam Sugar is amazingly awesome and he has done work in the guardianship circle mostly around the elderly, but trust me, I think my story is worth telling as well.
As I’m going to wait for the law firms to get back to me, I’m going to stop writing this for a while. But as of January, I will be the recipient of a gift. The gift of freedom is precious, so cherish every moment you have. You never know if it could be taken away.