15 years ago …

Dear readers,

It was about fifteen years ago, and May is mental health month so I’m going to be talking about mental health stuff too. It is traumatic when your family denies you basic human rights, and that’s what happened in the fall of 2004, so when I told a cop that I couldn’t live without something or someone, I was placed in the hospital. Just for that, I was later admitted to LaAmistad Behavioral Services, a place in Winter Park, and they’ve since changed, but this place had some clear frameworks for mental health habits sand care I will get into later. But it was fifteen years ago that I was discharged from LaAmistad on May 19, and since then, you gotta admit I came close once to being admitted. That was after being broken up with, and tampered with by an ex. Unfortunately, a friend in Georgia who I no longer speak to thinks I don’t live reality. What is reality/ This begs the question of what constitutes mental health?

I’ll first tell you what constitutes mental health and wellness, and then we’ll talk about the framework of mental health and care that LaAmistad set up. And then we’ll talk about thee subpar care that so many of us are subject to, and how we can fix it all.

First, someone with mental illness so severe it needs hospitalization should and must exhibit dangerous behaviors, including SIB (self injurious behavior) including cutting your body, stabbing yourself with knives and razor blades, etc. I don’t count removing scabs or mosquito bites, or even scratching at those, because insects are everywhere in Florida. And as humans, we need to be able to remove the parasites from our bodies, that includes scabies mites and bedbugs. Okay, but SIB’s are absolutely cutting and stabbing oneself, but here’s another part of the danger to oneself and others. You must have a suicide plan, and the suicide plan can be detailed or not, but if you show this plan or talk about it, someone will say you have dangerous behaviors, are a danger to yourself and others. Homicidal behavior is a big one too.

So what constitutes welllness? Psychopathy is not mental health. If you’re the type who likes to pull the ears and tail of your dog so forcefully that the dog looks at you in surprise, or if the dog howls like a maniac as you do something really bad to them, you are possibly exhibiting psychopathic behavior. Antisocial behavior can also mean starting fires, or if you’ve got a murder rap sheet, or if you think it’s okay to abuse kids and adults in a sexual manner. All these things constitute mental illness and psychopathy.

All of these behaviors or some of those behaviors put together constitute something, and you should get treatment for it. Psychopaths are not easy to treat, but here’s the other thing about that. Psychopathy is rare, it’s not like simple mental illness, complete with self injurious behaviors, not enjoying what you once loved, and threatening suicide. Let me be clear: mental wellness is not being completely free of the SIB thing, or being completely energetic. Everybody’s brain is different. Take it from me.

Also, here’s another tidbit about mental illness: 95% of us mental health patients are the victims, not the perpetrators of violent crime. Make that also the victims of theft and small crimes. When someone with mental health issues is murdered, nobody takes notice. Example: Michael Dingas was a world class runner, and he had schizophrenic symptoms by eleven or twelve, then he was almost at LaAmistad for twelve years. When I was a client there, the young man was moved to another facility, Mom was there. But there was a nice day he went out to possibly buy cigs at a convenience store, and was run over by a vehicle on the crossing. He died a few moments later, and nobody could find the perp because there were no witnesses who cared enough to say who it was. Dingas had a funeral, and I remember his grief stricken mom was in the room. I felt the energy was off, something was truly off, and his mom needed space. I would have given her a hug, but boundaries, space right? So I didn’t. The whole point of this is that if someone did run Michael over, they would have been charged with vehicular homicide, and I think it was likely due to the stigma of mental health.

Also, if you’re being treated for mental health, you should never discount what you get out of it. LaAmistad recommends that each patient in a counseling setting receive 45 minutes per week. For me, I only get it once per month because of medicaid. Medicaid is the poor man’s health insurance in the United States, for those others who are international and curious, and doesn’t always do their thing. I have an incredibly supportive partner, one good thing about me. Having friends and a support network is vital for those with mental illness, and fifteen years ago, I didn’t have that.

What else constitutes mental wellness? Well, here’s something we human modern peoples seem to lack. Can you guess what it is? Bingo, it’s empathy. Empathy is a big thing in humans, a big need for right now. It is lack of this empathy that leads a social worker to declare her case over with an abused child victim, and then the child is murdered while sitting in a dog cage. It is lack of empathy that leaves disabled and low income families in bedbug infested apartments, white gentry buying up the places that a disabled person could use, and so on and so forth. It is empathy that makes a caring person pissed off so bad that they are driven to action. LEt’s look at examples of what empathy does.

For those living in the stone age, or you haven’t paid attention to your psychology book, empathy is something that you can do with your kid, your cat, your friends, the world. Let’s start with closer to home. If you anticipate a baby’s need for milk and feeding, you act as soon as you hear the baby’s hungry cry. That’s empathy in action. When you soothe Grandma’s pain while she lies in the nursing home, and give her plenty of food she can have, that’s empathy. When you celebrate the life of your LGBTQI+ child who’s been bullied and you give them the celebratory dinner at graduation and beyond, that’s empathy. When you put yourself in another’s shoes, that is empathy. There are many people who would say I lack this, but that’s far from the truth. I have to do social justice crap because that’s what constitutes mental illness versus mental wellness. Social justice peoples are not mentally ill psychopaths. Without empathy, you can commit a multitude of crimes, and so when the baby arrives, I swear solemnly and on my dead body I will give my baby the best shot at a good life, including empathic responses to the big questions and small ones too. IF my baby needs milk, I’m going to do it. I do plan to make sure Baby is as strong as possible, and Trenton is the biggest empath I’ve ever come across. Empaths can connect with earth and people, and I could go on about the types there are, but that’s a whole other post for a different day.

I want to say though that if you do feel a consistent sadness, Baby Blues could be diagnosable as postpartum depression, and that’s okay. Just talk to your doctor and get referrals as soon as possible so you and Baby can still share moments together.

Happy mental health awareness month. And stay safe.

Beth

A letter to the Denver 7 peoples about guardianship

Author’s note: I forgot to mention that because I call people out for being guardian activists on behalf of upholding the status quo, or because I do speak out against unjust things, I got a death threat from a woman in Avilar, someone who was cowardice enough to disconnect her phone after I published it. Well, she deserved whatever came to her because you don’t threaten people’s lives. It’s illegal. And I don’t want hate crimes to be committed against me or my partner.

I’d like to share the email I just wrote the Denver Channel folks, though. Jennifer is their investigative girl, and she’s good. Really good. She and this producer did a story on guardianship fraud. I went and wrote the Great American novel, wink wink, about the whole thing. This is the signification of my email.

To whom it may concern,I’d like to reach out to Jennifer and Joe, who were so awesome in bringing a story about guardianship fraud to a Colorado news media channel. I hope it catches the attention of social services workers in this state as they really don’t seem to, um, care a lot like in the Netflix film. My name is Beth Taurasi. I was the victim of guardianship abuse in my native Florida, so I moved here to escape it. When I learned from LuAnn Fleming and others about what guardianship does, I pushed to have it removed. But removing a guardianship is not easy, not in any state. I was lucky to have a doc and a nurse in Colorado say well, she’s capable and competent and all that crap. But it’s ableist, sexist too. I saw the segments with Britney’s songs, and I was so supercharged because I know for a fact that Britney’s guardianship and mine are pretty similar, but different too.I was born totally blind and could never see the beautiful blue sky. But what bothered my parents was that I wanted to experience teenage girl stuff, dating and the like, but my parents were patriarchal, and my dad is someone I want to call Patriarch number 1. He might have been the one to orchestrate the guardianship and isolation I went through. I was told many times I couldn’t call a friend, talk to someone, and all that stuff. Recently I learned the power of friendship and check ins with friends because I was losing my mind over some things, drowned my sorrows in Gatorade, mind you it wasn’t Jack Daniels, but I always worried that my friends would get irate with me and say don’t call me again. Part of this problem probably stemmed from guardians like the Patriarch number 1 going after my friends and telling them how to interact with me. They treated me like an animal, not like a human being. This went on until I was told how to use the Internet, oh you will only use it from 10 AM to 4 PM EST or EDT whatever. I was living in Florida, and was begging for a trip to Littleton in Colorado to get training on the Blindness front. But I was so emotionally abused and manipulated, gaslit by professionals and teachers alike, so much because they were calling me bossy and silencing my leadership abilities. Now, I can’t even get a job and career and I don’t frankly think I will be able to safely have one because of a few different factors, mainly the activism and such. I read this book called Youth to Power, and it says you have to find your why. Well, my why with guardianship activism is because after five years, I left Florida for Littleton, and even after, I wasn’t given enough support from my parents, and they never wanted me to have money for food. I would be starving in half my classes, I passed out once, though I did get some if not a lot of care. I ended up at one time trying to find a spiritual group other than the Roman Catholic church which was where my parents came from. My partner, Trenton Matthews, is the most supportive partner I’ve had, and he has to put up with me sometimes being angry at stuff but I usually am comforted by his presence more than anything. In the years before I met my amazing partner, however, I had to endure abusive relationships, namely those of a guy online and I lacked any support for my ambitions. I wish I could go to college, but there’s a debt and I didn’t receive guidance or enough Pell grant money to go. I would fill out my FAFSA but my parents’ income might have something to do with why I am afraid I won’t get Pell money. Who would give such money to someone who wants to make a wedding a social justice issue for example? My other problems may likely be the result of me even speaking out about guardianship and the evils it likes to do and the damage left behind. When I posted on a Facebook community help thing, I got degraded by an ex and a friend of his, someone I knew and hadn’t spoken to, and this strange female figure in the blindness community. Guardianships and the blindness community are intertwined. I’m helping a gal in Orlando get her parents to shut up and let her have her SSI check and honestly, the other problem is that all parents with disabilities are liable to either not teach their kids financial skills, after which they steal the check and hold the disabled person hostage from boyfriends, friends, and others. I’m going to work on a book that helps people escape such a brutality, and it is brutality.I”m open to a news interview. I want to talk to Jennifer because when I had guardianship in Florida, the Colorado instructors in Littleton’s Colorado center for the Blind on West Shepard thought I was good for nothing, and even if it wasn’t the director Julie Deden herself, there were people in that group who were toxic. My boyfriend at the time was a Muslim, so I got Islamophobes talking about this and that and not focusing on their work. I trucked on and graduated the center, but then I realized how my expectations and the guardianship subject had been muted. None of my concerns were given to my parents. They sent all the students home from the center apartments, it wasn’t what they currently have, but when I got home, my parents forced the Catholic faith on me, I couldn’t wear hijab, I was a Muslim at the time, and sure I cared about Jesus, but guardianship allowed my parents to do spiritual abuse. I was practically done when I got back to Littleton, so I never went back. The guardianship was discharged in December of 2020 after I was committed by ceremony to Trenton, and I would use the word commitment ceremony, not wedding, in any report because weddings are usually legal and we can’t lose our benefits.The guardianship in this country is the worst thing I have ever seen. I did say I was helping a gal get out of hers, and it’s no different than mine. My former guardians used to tell me that a certain man I liked was “sexually experienced” and they forbade me from calling a school friend because he was younger, black, and Caribbean. I am done with my parents, for the most part because they don’t even talk to me much. Their actions created a rift in the family, the blindness community responded with anger and toxic commentary. My best friend of ten years is gone because he chose to respond that way. Now I can’t even talk to certain people because they’ll call me spoiled for requesting housing and other things. People simply don’t believe when I say that guardianship abuse must be curbed, stopped, even here in Colorado. I am working with Rocky Mountain Human services because the toxic culture of the blindness community contributeed to mental illness and so on, so I make it a point to use in home care services, mainly the homemaker services, and my caseworker knows the story. Rhonda Cordova, however, does not wish to help me get safe and clean housing. I wonder why. I wonder if it’s a privilege or hatred of me in particular, but the guardianship might have made the difference. Rhonda was reported for being apathetic toward my situation, and she got mad. It had to do with my building’s bedbug crap, and I can’t find housing anywhere else but yeah, the guardianship is leaving me unemployed and living in a bedbug infested chateaux. There are many layers of this and other things I could tell you as to why Colorado should get rid of guardianship in favor of supportive decision making. Pat in the story could benefit from this. He needs to be given a pet dog to play with, people need to let him have money, and perhaps the state should settle for more because he lost his estate. pat has intellectual disability, which is a bit different than me, but still, when I heard the story, even Pat knew something wasn’t right. Lawmakers should make it illegal for a parental guardianship to take place in the cases of disabled kids. ask my main caregiver, Maria Weir, she has a daughter with autism and we talk frequently about issues of social justice, one of which is guardianship. Her little daughter could end up even dead from a guardian doing a bad and evil job at caring for her. I’ve become this social justice warrior because of my life experiences, and I’m fighting some battles of my own as well. Please call me at 720-435-7407 and I’m glad to meet with you. Even if care is going on, you may come in. Please don’t scare my landlord it’s not about her.Thank you so much.PS you can check out my blog and website. I’ll copy the text of this email to my blog after a response.Beth

Letter to my ex boyfriend and others, TW ableism and sexual harassment/fragile masculinity mentioned here

The following piece is dedicated to Blake Tucker, with whom I spent 2 and a half years as a girlfriend, but I’d also like to give a shout out to Jessie, my messy and altogether very good friend from Miami, and thank him for letting me open my eyes. This piece should probably be in the feminist essay collections, and I was inspired to write this because of activists like Jessica Valenti and more importantly, there’s a Muskogee lady that wrote this brilliant essay on how women have been protecting each other in Native American circles. If anyone thinks I weaponized or did something wrong, please read below and feel free to be constructive, positive, and above all, careful what you tell me.

Dear Blake,

Last week was hell. And I couldn’t believe what you did to yourself. I’m not here to discuss a vibrator, sexual freedom, or God. I’m here to discuss you, and how you contributed to a very big problem here in America, got duped by Christians who are telling you that women like me don’t deserve to be heard, and you silently watch me get bitten up by bugs, attacked by heathen Ableists with no logic whatsoever about thee disabled experience on my end, and you don’t even connect with your Native American self. Like it or not, I think I need to tell yoou my story again and for the rest of the people reading this, especially activists, feminists, and others who are interested, I’ll explain where each of us has been.

the whole thing about vibrators is. just plain misunderstanding. Blake, you said to me shortly before we broke up something that absolutely was an affront to me being destressed in a time when stress was everywhere. I won’t write it here, you’ll only get mad at me and such. Blake, I care enough about you as a friend to say you should still go to your church, but I want to present a picture of God you never even drew, saw, or might not think exists.

Jesus, the Christ you report to for missions and so on, was an inclusive figure. Jesus was, however, used to mess up Native cultures to the point of death and nonexistence. The Spanish, particularly those in New Mexico and Arizona, used Jesus as a way to convert what they saw as “heathens.” But it has harmful consequences still today. In the ancient times, if you rolled with Jesus and the rich Eurocentric stuff, you got treated better. Is that fair? Jesus would never have said, kill the ones who don’t convert. I see a parallel between the 1500 to 1700 missions in the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries and Muhammad the prophet’s weird and deadly fatwa, religious order, to “fight and slay the pagans where ye find them.” Muslims today have this issue with holy war, and among their so called missions is to convert everybody or make them pay with the tax or their lives. It has some rash consequences, including the genocide of the Coptic Christians, and the Jewish people have to contend with the power they are misusing. There’s a tribe in Iraq and Syria called the Yezidi that we have touched on, and because IS, or Islamic State, wants to make the whole world Muslim, you got Yezidi people dying or fighting. Nadia Murad, if you read this, I hope you see the same pattern I am about to describe below.

Blake, when the peoples you represent, all of these peoples, saw the Spanish and the pale faced white humans trashing their beliefs, going after the Native women, the men had little power to do with it. Do you know why the Trail of Tears happened? Because of a white idiot named Andrew Jackson, and the history books don’t tell you enough about it, only to whitewash it. Native beliefs were to be eradicated along with they themselves. There’s something about Natives I am drawn to, and let me explain what it is.

Muskogee activist Sarah Deer writes of a method of protecting women, an ancient survivor network and it whispers too. Deer says that “gossip is an English word” in her essay with the same words as its title. She says that women in the Indian country or first nations people would whisper that a man is dangerous, do things to protect each other, etc etc. Men would get axed not by death or killing, but there’s a whole healing process that goes with the whisper network. Would my white women friends like to try it out? I certainly want to, but Blake, here’s the deal: the tribes affirm women, LGBTQI+ and blind and deaf people. In ancient times, the Native tribes of the West, particularly tribes such as the Hopi and the Navajo, would integrate their deaf and they’d never, never seek to cure blindness. Sure, some babies lived and died as babies but it was never a shameful thing, and there was lots. of medicine to be had in the spiritual ceremony and traditions. There’s even a legend of the Cherokee tribes that affirms women’s power to give life as a weapon of sorts. When a woman in some tribes has her moon time, her menstruation, she would be allowed to go to this sweat lodge thing where she can recuperate and such, and she rests and stretches out the cramps from Hell. But imagine for a moment that this same feeling a woman has could be used to save a race of people. It did in this legend, called Stonecoat, where a stone guy tries to rob the people, kill them, etc., but seven “granddaughters” weaken him in a big show of badassery where they say, “I’m in the sacred way” each time he walks by. He’d try to convince the girls they’re dirty, but the badassery just threw him to the ground. It’s my favorite female legend of Native sorts. There are many others, and I can tell you that Natives had Romeo and Juliet in the legend of Mina-Sauk before we even had Shakespeare. These ancient traditions may not have anything with God or Jesus, but I can tell you this much: weaponizing Jesus as a way of dissing me is not going to work.

Native medicines and beliefs and ancient peoples did not necessarily have anything against a woman making herself feel good. I don’t see much of that, but regarding your comments to me before we broke, the vibrator was a doctor prescribed thing against what we used to call “female hysteria.” For disabled females, this is a common thing you might say back then. Today’s disabled female is likely to experience violence, I have, and isolation, which I have as well. I’m done trying to tell you that disabled women experience violence and you say, I know I know, but Blake, the thing is that America was built on an unfair and unjust patriarchal social hierarchy that has many layers to it. Here’s how it works:

You have cisgender, straight and able white males on top. Follow that with cisgender able straight females, then black straight cisgender males and females respectively, and then you have cisgender straight indigenous folks, followed by all manner of disabled people, black and white included, but then at the very bottom you have nonbinary and sexual minorities. This hierarchy is disgusting and I want it to stop. We don’t need cisgender straight males running things. Native American disabled males who don’t follow a big Evangelical megachurch or even a small one like yours are likely to face homicide, taunts from the higher up people, etc., so I know you would want to stay put in your church. Sure your friends are cool, but there’s something I’m coming up on that I’m not cool with.

It wasn’t Native women who told me you flirted too much. It was a male who, surprise surprise is a disabled Hispanic cisgender straight dude, but oh my god, we’ve been friends since who knows when. Note that I didn’t mention Hispanics in the hierarchy thing though because you have two or three different kinds, including black ones and white ones, so I just go by the black versus the white. NOt all Latinos are white and not all are black, it’s a mixed bag. This friend of mine is amazing, I call him Jessie the Messy, and he’s just plain cool. He’s got his own stuff, works and has a cool head on his shoulders. Jessie warned me about your tendencies, but I was stupid as usual and didn’t read into things because I’ve been taught not to. But sure enough, you get used by someone else, and break another’s heart. Or she broke yours, I don’t care how the relationship panned out. If any girlfriends you have know that you disrespected my beliefs as a feminist and didn’t understand why I was so deeply hurt by the people purporting to believe in Jesus, and I’ll tell that story now.

When you broke it off with me, the now former preacher at Sovereign Grace Community Church in Westminster decided to call me a whore. A whore for being with Trenton. I brought him there in an effort to solidify friendships and maybe even see how the people would react. But thankfully, years later, well, I’m glad I and Trenton haven’t gone. I have a buddy in chorus that recommended I not live in Westminster because of what she called a “scary megachurch” but there are plenty of those in Westminster. What Sovereign Grace did can still be felt today. I attend a UU church, Unitarian universalist, and have found that it’s not only Jesus that suffices for spiritual teaching and knowledge. I can’t subscribe to this notion of “sin” because it’s too flexible and it stings too broadly on a lot of subjects. Wearing a short skirt if you’re identifying as female? Sin, according to the beliefs you’ve chosen. Playing with your own hair if you’re female? Sin again. And the notion of sin is an excuse to make my life more expensive, so think about why your mom, aunts, sisters, all have to pay more for tampons. There is a luxury tax imposed because the government is sexist. The tax code for pink products, feminine stuff, is completely sexist. I only want others to understand that what you did to me represents a bigger problem with guys. Trenton tries to be supportive, and he is extremely cool, but you and anyone trying to attack me is not warranted in doing so.

Here’s what I want you to do. Stop talking to females who use you. I don’t use anyone, so stop it. IF you continue to be a flirt with girls after you’ve married, I’ll have to do what Sarah Deer does and warn her that this might not be the time to marry. I may not say your name, but still. Blake, I also recommend you reading Unladylike, a field guide to smashing the patriarchy and claiming your space. You don’t have to be female to read it, for real. Feminism is for everybody, and it benefits everybody. I do not hate men, as some will tell you, I just want accountability. You heard thee recent story of Josh Dugger, right? I was shocked and heartbroken because no man should be viewing child porn, but Trenton and I know that it’s illegal. We also know that Ashley Madison is not a good place to be if you’re trying to stay faithful. Vibrators aren’t the problem, and women aren’t the problem. Men are. Josh is highly unfaithful and abusive toward kids by viewing child porn. The victims who were used for this pornography are also being abused by Josh because in some way they might have been forced into it. Child pornography is something I know you could never see yourself doing, but if you were sighted, Blake, I wouldn’t be surprised if you went off and told someone that I didn’t look like your ideal woman, and it’s not your fault. Blake, you do have a good heart, but don’t get yourself dragged into conversations where you don’t belong. Lyn, one of the women who did the bad stuff on my community help post, has had nothing to do. She’s speaking from a class, race, and support privilege. I hate that, and data shows that minorities don’t just get subpar supports, they also get subpar commentary and subpar choices for schooling and other things. Your people are in trouble, and it’s not your fault. Why not summon the power of Wilma Mankiller to be your guide? Why not summon the ancestors to help you with some sort of realization of who you are? Jesus is great and all, but Jesus would never want you to label every woman’s desire a sin. The traditions that state that Adams are in charge and Eves are not do not apply to me and all of us anymore. I. can’t stand by and watch as women are sexually assaulted and no one believe them. The bedbug issue in this apartment complex scared my caregiver, and it scared the company, and yet the caseworker wasn’t there when she needed to be, and I don’t bllame her for it, but she needs to show up for me and do for me because I’m her client, and so should she do this for other clients. NASW clearly does put client safety in their code of ethics. I’ve written my local Senator for the state district 4, and I hope to have an appointment with her because the laws and policies that are in place are enabling Lyns everywhere to ruin lives like mine. Your friend Jennifer thinks she can get away with practically anything, and worse, both those girls spoke from a support class privilege. They had family support, I don’t have it, and they’re white, straight, etc. Lyn has a job, and she didn’t earn the employability. It’s all in the numbers, so look carefully.

Blake, please do some homework and get back to me. Jesus would demand that you apologize, and I apologize if what I said about you was hurtful, but what you did really wasn’t your fault per se. Though you chose this set of beliefs about Jesus and women, yu do have a choice to enact safer ways of interacting with the females in your life such that you don’t get ire from Jessies everywhere, or even your family’s women. Don’t subscribe to this notion that sin is everything, and it’s not sinful for a woman to read or write. Please read the Handmaid’s Tale and the Testaments, authored by Margaret Atwood, and she really has a lot of wisdom about why she wrote these books.

Beth

I know it’s a bit early. TW mentions of bullying.

Dear Santa,

I know it’s a bit early. But if I was only a child, I’d be on your knee right now, talking to you about stupid stuff like toys, etc. But guess what? I’m 35, no kids, no real house with a chimney, fireplace, and all theh fixings of a Christmas house. Santa, I believed in you for years, and I’ve seen a pattern of stuff going on in kids these days. While somem are saying, oh my god, kids are so spoiled, you know what I also see? Stupid, evil, abusive men. I see men who hit and beat up their wives and children, and the children write you letters saying, I want Mommy to have a ggood husband who does not beat her, won’t beat me up, etc. There are “elves” so to speak here in the real world who read your letters, and their hearts break. I don’t know if my letter will ever be seen by the elves here, but I know what I want for Christmas this year. Please tell me I’m not spoiled for asking this. I didn’t want to ask for anything but a modest clean house with a good walkable neighborhood, friends and a family and community that would support me in raising a child who will believe in you. I have always wanted a child, but that child needs more than I can give, but I would never want my own flesh and blood in the hands of someone who doesn’t get it. Let me begin at the beginning.

It all started with creepy crawly bugs in my apartment, maybe a neighbor has them, I don’t quite know. My longterm care provider, who is excellent and tops in all the things she does, basically had to stop showing up through no fault of her or her supervisor’s. I’m totally blind, and this building sucks. I have been stuck here for ten years in HUD public housing in Denver, Colorado, and I’ve seen my share of heartbreak. My partner and I don’t want to raise a child here in this run down … well, what I like to call a bug infested chateaux sometimes or a run down chateaux. The reindeer couldn’t get on the thirteen story roof and no way do you wanna go down thirteen stories to give presents to all these people who have either forgotten or don’t think you should be here. Some have kids and grandkids, but the grandkids visit on periodic times. I am only 35 years old, have never felt the pains of childbirth, and I have never forgotten you. You have many names, St. Nicholas among them, and if I were Catholic, I’d be asking you to bring me a child, whether through the foster system or by my own body. But alas, a job would have to be procured, but honestly, I don’t think it’s safe for me to have a job. I just want to change the world so that people can be here safely, not kill each other with guns and stuff, not call each other bad names or get unnecessarily bent out of shape just because I did something I had to do.

So the story is that I posted something about a house, an apartment, I just want a safer roof over my head, and families and such. While I have been blind my whole life, I know how this world treats us, but it is also a division of have and have nots. I have a really cool partner who I’d love to know what his child would look like, and all the good things that come with having a child. I’d raise that child to just let their imagination run wild, and every Christmas Day, I want for that child to wake up in a modest house, and I didn’t even post that I wanted a designer mansion in Beverly Hills for God’s sakes, but that’s how two people on my Facebook page perceived it. I don’t want a guide dog, I said, just a small spaniel puppy and nothing too special. I didn’t say I wanted a big yard, so I said I would get a dog with no requirement of a big yard. And the nasty comments came in. “You’re a spoiled brat. How can you afford this and you can’t even feed yourself?” what insults. Santa, I want those people to get rocks and … no, coal is too humane. How about environmentally friendly reminders of how mean they were?

Santa, the girl who also said I wasn’t living reality should get a hallucination from somewhere beyond, and then she’ll start talking to it, and then she’ll ask, is this real? Well, I don’t and have never had hallucinations so … what the hell she was doing was wrong. I’d give her a shrunken brain for Christmas with the words engraved like as follows:

Santa says you’ve been naughty, so here’s the scoop. All you get for Christmas is this … your shrunken brain. There you know what I mean?

My ex boyfriend, I’ve mentioned him here before, I don’t want him to get but anything for Christmas. He claims he has the best life, all those stupid friends of his who don’t even know my name, and frankly, I don’t know who he is anymore. I said in a live feed that he wouldn’t let me have a vibrator and all this and that, but truth is I liberated myself from this stupid prison called this is a sin and that is a sin. Santa, women want freedom and love and that’s it. Children have imaginations, and trust me, it was a child’s imagination and later an adult’s frustration that led to many inventions and concepts. For Christmas, I wish you’d just leave my ex’s stocking empty, and a note that says, you’ve been naughty, so here’s the thing: come Christmas you shall not be able to sing. My exes don’t need to be involved in my search for an apartment.

Do me a big favor, though, please give my caregiver more tools for her profession. Give her a vacuum cleaner that works. Brooms are cool. Please give her more money in her pay pack, and don’t let anyone give her migraine headaches. If she needs days off, please assure I won’t let her go. For her daughter, who is autistic, give her a long and happy life, and she will one day have kids who beelieve in you. But all I want is a modest rental or owned house with three beds and two baths, a kitchen, a living room, a family room, maybe a small porch, a small yard, a flat roof or rectangular roof. I don’t want to be without running water or electricity because hell, this is the U.S. and if the girl who is mentally ill behaves, please if you could just give her back her electricity, and let her glimpse her family members, and let her pee in a toilet instead of a bucket, okay? Fix her house, her plumbing, and all that. She doesn’t understand how awful it is to ask for something as reasonable as a house and get this badly beaten up. I am not asking for a mansion, but if you insist I live in a nursing home, I won’t write you again.

Please, Mr. Claus, I know you only do kids and toys, or maybe you don’t, but if I don’t bear a child, that’s one less person to believe your story. You brought stuff to kids who had nothing at all, but my ex, who’s. probably as immature as a boy and in his twenties, and this other gal he was talking to on the phone with me, look, I have empathy for the girl. But if she misbehaves I’m not gonna say a word. I want her to have the plumbing and heating she needs, and that tornado? I didn’t even know it was over her house. Please, give her a few Colorado peaches.

But all I ask is for a modest living situation, and Santa i’ll be glad to give you everything: my food, my check, some place for the deer to graze, what the hell else should I give you in return/ For my ex, I want him to have a virtuous and very good person in his life who can marry him and call him husband, and I want him to stop being entitled to sexual things with her. He needs to quit flirting with other girls, but she will also be the one to say, “I’m not your slave.” Give my ex the ability to cook for himsef, his wife, and future kids. And when the time comes, Santa, go to his and his wife’s room and I would hope you give them Christmas presents for the whole family.

What breaks my heart is that I’m being questioned about my abilities. I have a special wish for my disabled community members. Do not give us sight. Give us books we can read, ones in Braille and such, and please, santa, keep reading the letters of blind children. Make the parents get them out of bed and get them writing and reading Braille again. Santa, would you fly your sled over to D.C. and tell the lawmakers and old Mr. Joe over there that there are transgender kids who need a ride in your sled to places where they will have life affirming care and stuff like that/ There are many kids who could use my house, and if I get the house or modest rental, please let the kids come and I’ll find foster homes that are life affirming for them. There’s a girl in Texas who has received death threats, and you being the magical one, you know her name. She was born male, but she really is female, pronouns she/her/hers. Please give her lots of dresses, and money so her parents can get the hell out of Texas. Cut the lines of those who are bothering her, and tell the lawmakers in Texas they’ll be getting coal and rocks and useless crap in their stockings, nothing at all, or perhaps a summons letter to report to jail for threatening this little girl. Tell the girl’s mother that I wish her all the best, but that I’d give the shirt off my back for her because she needs it more. Look, if I. had a modest multibed place with no creepy crawlies, I’d be glad to share it with her. My husband and I would give our whole career and lives helping kids like that one. And please send my friends at the Initiative more tools so some more women and children with disabilities can be helped on my behalf. Santa, I know it’s a bit early. But for Christmas, I want to change the world, I want a modest house, and don’t make me copy Amy Grant’s famous Christmas song. Because her list is my list.

I have to see who messaged me, but I’ll see you and all your entourage at Christmas, and I hope that my wishes and the wishes of others come true. I’m sorry to write this early, but you have six months to prep. That’s plenty of time.

Beth