How do you live in a world with no blind princesses?

Dear readers,

I recently tried to answer a question for a podcast done by a blind dude who specializes in blindness specific things. One of his questions had to do with coverage in the media, and I also included Hollywood coverage. Let me tell you how lackluster at best the coverage is, and it affects not only blind women like me, but if I want to create a fan fiction story, I have to do it right. And there are no blind characters to work with in most of the hot button media series thingies. Here’s what we have to work with.

As a young girl, I grew up with Disney. How well has Disney represented disabled characters in the media? I’d give Disney an F for unfair representation of blind and disabled characters. Disabled characters in literature and movies and such are usually saints, poor beggars, or those who are cured, and examples are few and far between. There is only one blind woman who I would hold up as one who opposes being helpless. Anyone heard of Susan Oldknow? Um, maybe you haven’t, but she is in the Treasure of Green Knowe series, actually the title of the book is Treasure of Green Knowe. In this book, Spoiler alert, Susan becomes heiress to Green Knowe and she ends up overcoming loads of obstacles to get there. Among which, she has to contend with a nanny who’s completely out of her mind, a grandmother who believes Susan is an idiot, and the only friend in her family is her father, a sea captain who wants her educated like her mother and all the ladies before, and this is before the invention of Braille. But the worst thing that occurs usually in a family like this is the son gets spoiled, and Susan’s brother Sefton is no exception. He acts racist toward Susan’s companion, Jacob, who, spoiler alert, is a freed African slave the captain purchased, and yes, the boy was free in England with the captain’s family. The Captain is usually a guy who you would find away on sailing missions, so no surprise that Sefton hates his sister and wants to disparrage her companion.

What’s really sad about the blind issue in the media and coverage in television news stories and other things is this: all the blind are considered helpless, and because the NFB and other consumer orgs want better representation, there is a darker side to finding such representation. When I wrote that I needed help determining what to do with evacuation strategies for my apartment, I personally don’t feel safe here much because of the creepers here, I got nasty backlash comments from trolls who were, oddly enough, blind themselves. The blindness is not the reason I ask for help, beg to get guidance in housing situations, and so on and so forth.

What I do does not represent Hollywood or blind people in general, but I have indeed tried to hold up the community, but they seem to be tearing me down instead of lifting me up, and even local chorus people don’t seem to get it. They want to sit there and tear me down, forget I exist, or try to avoid me. I hate avoidance behavior, but I think the biggest reason we have avoidant individuals around us as blind people is because of that stupid television show, In the Dark, and the NFB’s complaints about that show are numerous. For one, the blind main character was played by a sighted actor. Ugh. This is ableist. It’s the same thing as asking Caucasian people to play Japanese characters in anime, and it’s disgusting.

As a blind girl, there are no blind princesses Disney has to offer. Tiana is the closest to getting there Disney has done with princess representation in the media. However, there is still a long way to go. Disney has yet to put a disabled actress as a princess in a movie, and to make a disabled princess be the center of the story. Because of Disney’s lack of disability positive representation, I’m considering writing Disney a heartfelt note saying that a princess with confidence and a disability would really help the community see things the way I see them. And we need a princess who can lift others up, not have to be able to see and don’t count Ariel’s temporary disability because her voice is essential to her story. ursula, the evil witch in the Little Mermaid movie Disney so violently corrupted, did take Ariel’s voice, but was killed by Eric and so on if memory serves me right. The original Hans Christian Andersen story doesn’t do much justice either. The mermaid has to, spoiler alert, kill her lover or become a child of the air, which is hardly what Disney wants. Disney’s interests aren’t the interests of the disabled community, and the more I see new princess movies come out, the more left out fellow princess lovers and Disnerds who are blind are going to feel.

When you get a little older, superheroes and more adult films are the norm. I still watch princess movies, but what will I be able to do other than write up a fairy tale that explains my life in a child’s point of view/ Nothing explains things I went through that way at all. In adult film and TV series, we have few and rare blind characters that exhibit any form of confidence or enough courage and strength to tell a blind adult or young teen, “You can be who you want to be.” If Disney wanted to do this sort of thing, maybe they should make a movie about a blind woman, not Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder, but a woman who is blind because women who are blind are poorly represented in television sitcoms, movies, and the like. No blind woman should be portrayed as a sexual object to be married off, or worse, a fear based thing you don’t want to become. As a blind woman, how can anyone be so confident in themselves as females if they see a blind woman not succeeding in making some extraordinary changes in the world? I want to change the world so it is safe for girls and women who are blind in all parts of the world to live their lives, no guardianship for girls and women, including all the remote parts of the world who seek to oppose or kill me. Honestly, I’m seriously trying to do this right, but I’m stuck on social media because of transport that’s so crappy here in my end of town. Think about it. Activists can be activists online, and I’m one who can say I’m an online activist for change, and I don’t see such activism covered in the news.

what bothers me most about the lack of Hollywood representation of people who are blind is how feared the blindness is. In classic movies, you don’t see confident blind actors and so on. Even modern movies and shows have no blind characters. It seems Arthur from PBS does, but that’s meant for educational purposes only. Sesame Street is a kid program, but we need to get the word out that blind kids and adults alike need positive role models in the media, in sitcoms, in Netflix and other streaming platform shows, and not the Healing Powers of Dude. Poor representation of disabled people and jokes about us are all over the media, and those have to go.

Luckily, I did do a good initial review of See, a show about blind characters, but why is Jason Momoa, a sighted actor, playing the blind warrior? I hope there are blind thesbians willing to speak out. At least we’re on the way to doing better, but hardly are we any closer than we should have been long ago. In 1990, Disney could have published stuff about not so helpless people with disabilities, but it’s taking them way too long. Other hollywood companies like Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, and so many others could benefit from putting blind people on TV and in movies outside an educational purpose only.

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

‘99% of the world has no idea’: inside the shocking legal guardianship industry | Film | The Guardian

Please watch this, I forgot to post the HRW thingy, but this is going on Netflix on Feb 19.

In dark Netflix thriller I Care a Lot, a predatory court appointed guardian wreaks havoc, a story that’s far closer to reality than one would expect
— Read on www.theguardian.com/film/2021/feb/17/99-of-the-world-has-no-idea-inside-the-shocking-legal-guardianship-industry

Update on Activism on Behalf of young Adults with Disability

Do disabled people matter in terms of existence?

Dear readers,

It is with a lot of concern that I write this. After chatting with activists all day, playing dice world at night, and so on, there’s something eating at my brain and it’s eating at me like I eat a donut. Why are parents so eager to get guardianships of their children? Even a family guardianship is prone to estate theft, and I had no money to barter and things to buy or sell, but my parents’ names were indeed on my bank account. Sure they saved up and flew to Italy, but there is a real problem. They still trafficked in opportunities, civil rights, and other things precious to every human being.

I hope to testify in front of someone about the evils of guardianship and how they affected me, and most guardianship literature is about elders, not disabled young adults. Whoever preys on me is likely going to be thrown in the garbage chute like Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I hope the squirrels find that the guardians are bad nuts anyway, and tap them on the head, and just like that, those who prey on the money and humanity of people like me and the elders and disabled and whatever everywhere in the country. The United States owes itself freedom for all disabled and elderly adults, freedom from being trafficked and freedom for the estates of celebrities like Britney Spears. Please, whatever you do, don’t support those who would see me hanged for writing this. There are blind men and women who’ve called me bad names for writing such things, but these people are likely going to be targets of estate trafficking, guardianship abuse, and so much other stuff. As much as I despise these people, they need to wake the hell up. They need to wake up and smell the marigolds, roses being too pleasant a comparison for guardianship and estate abuse. Thank you all so much.

Beth

Letter to All Guardians Out There in Florida, You’re On Notice

Dear readers,

The following piece is dedicated to all those considering or currently holding guardianship in the state of Florida, for those who have guardianship over a young adult with a disability. Please read carefully.

Katy, age 26, can’t even have a boyfriend without her mother knowing it. She doesn’t have a bank account in her name, can’t spend her own money, is micromanaged on the daily. Because of privacy concerns, I’ve changed this girl’s name. Katy is blind, and she does everything she wants, but her mother believes that because of a small problem like blindness, she can’t live on her own. I have a message to all those Katy’s Moms out there.

First and foremost, Katy’s mom could isolate her from talking to me, could easily have swiped away her cell phone, could have taken away all the rights she is owed by the Constitution, could have died early and her ashes stored in an office by a professional guardian. Here’s what you need to know about guardianship.

1. It is supposed to be a relationship that allows a guardian to take care of someone, but guess what it really does? It allows the following items to occur concurrently, or all at once. And the ward has no rights, and it’s akin to human trafficking and slavery. Katy knows what she needs, and her therapist is there to help, but let’s tell everybody what it really does.

2. It allows an evil person, an abuser, a toxic fiend, to isolate the ward. Katy can’t have boyfriends, friends, whatever. Katy can not even marry. This is also very detrimental to Katy as she might end up my age, no kids, no job.

3. Guardianship allows rehab services for the blind to choose your career over what you want. I wanted to be a choral director, but no, can’t do because of flunking class, university costs, and my parents can’t tell me to go back home and sit there, a shell of my former self. I left the state of Florida because of this flunky attitude that the university had toward my accommodations. That was why I do not currently have employment, I was wasting my time in hiding, and even when I used rehab services for the blind in Colorado, the same issues popped up. They decided to scale back my career choices, send me to a bigot for psychological evaluation, and then they said I was unemployable, so rehab services are useless. Katy can’t use rehab services without her mom butting in. This is bad for her business prospects and her love life.

4. Katy has medical guardianship. If she gets pregnant, guess what? Her mom could tell her to abort the baby, which is tantamount to killing in some circles. Or the baby could be signed away to a strange couple or single mother who doesn’t give a fuck whether Katy is blind and independent or not.

5. Katy has probably had her free speech encroached upon for the safety of nasty patriarchs and important people. I had that happen to me. And I hope that guardians understand what their decision really does to a person.

6. My guardians lied to the courts about me, well, my former guardians as of December. It is very obvious why they lied. They created a toxic relationship between me and them, relegated me to isolation or bad people as friends, and when I found love, up till recently, it was always an abusive idiot. That is not okay, not okay at all.

So what do you do as a potential guardian who steals SSI checks? Well, here’s an alternative for you to consider.

Supportive decision making is a very good alternative to guardianship, and if you don’t consider this, well, you’re evil. YOu have to understand, there is no excuse for guardianships, and when Katy grows to be aged 90, she could end up beat up in a nursing home, but supportive decision making will help with Katy’s needs a lot better, that is if she was intellectually impaired. Don’t like the things I am saying? Well, put the mouse or keyboard down and don’t comment, because gguess what? You can’t. I’ve been trolled on the subject of guardianship, and it is an evil practice akin to institutionalization and human trafficking. When my former guardians are sued, I’m going to ask that my lawyer help Katy out. She will be free, along with thousands like her. Young adults with disabilities deserve independence, dignity, and human rights.

Beth

Inauguration Letter to the President

Dear Mr. President,

I”m glad you were sworn in and I watched all the colorful ceremony in the morning yesterday. I’m also barely sad that Trump left, but that’s another discussion for another day. I want to remind you of my laundry list of things that I want to see get done, but I see you’re picking up things nicely. Let me jog your memory in case you forget.

First and foremost, the priority should be disabled people and covid 19. Blind people are in deep doo doo because of this virus, so let’s work together to get us out of deep doo doo and get us back to normal again. I like what you’re doing so far.

I’d also like to make sure you know that SSI marriage penalizing is off for me, and I won’t accept financial penalty for marrying my spouse and we’re committed together right now. Trenton and I had to do a commitment ceremony with the Unitarian church in Golden because we sure had nobody who was willing to do an actual ceremony of that kind without counseling, patriarchal stupidity, and submission to things not seen. I want you to end the practice and update the SSI program to reflect the times, reflect equality of disabled and nondisabled people.

I’d like to see experiments with universal income, and even if you earn millions of dollars, you should still keep a universal $2000 a month because that’s about enough for rent and living expenses and even if the millionaires donated that income, it would stimulate the economy and charities need donations now more than ever.

I want to see progress with China and a return to working with Wahway and other tech companies in China. As long as the Chinese government is put on notice about the Muslim forced labor and genocide, yeah. We need to urge Wahway and other companies not to work with Mr. Ping and all that so we can get some light on the Ouigars and their plight.

Thank you for ending that ugly Muslim travel ban. We need to open our doors to the Ouigar Muslims in China so they can get free and practice their religion here, where they should be free to be themselves. And they could create a whole new thing in America, so who knows.

Thank you for undoing the attacks on racial justice. I hope that by the time I have little kids in preschool, you have cemented racial bias training discussion in school, pulverized the 1776 commission, and done away with whitewashed history books in school. You don’t know how passionate I am about this issue. My own kids could be subjected to bullying unlike any we have seen growing up ourselves.

As a person with a disability, and as a potential parent, I want to emphasize that guardianship is an evil and crooked industry, more crooked than Donald. Guardianship encourages people like my parents to lock people like me and you up and steal things. My parents might have stolen assets from me, and I’m checking on that. I’m also looking into all kinds of issues my parents caused through guardianship. I may have to file a civil suit so I can support myself and kids, and kids are on the agenda. I want my children in the future to have money, toys, and a place to call home. But they can’t if their mom or dad can’t get a job, and we won’t be allowing the kids to go to Disney at all, even if Disneyland opens back up.

What I want to say, part II of the discussion about guardianship, is that my parents used it for racial biased motives. And these motives were loud and clear: don’t see Orien Henry because he’s black and you are crazy; don’t see Michael Bonnehome because he has a child and is sexually experienced, but moreover he’s black and you’re crazy. These motives should be checked in reports about the guardians and their care of the ward. The report should state that the guardians are racist and can’t be trusted, and such motives for such isolation should be written up as grounds for terminating the ward’s incapacitation order. We need to work together to dismantle this crooked industry. IF you want Netflix, I want to encourage you, Mr. President, to watch Guardians Incorporated, an episode of Dirty Money. It has lots of stories and I’m in contact with several victims featured in the story, including Laura Pebbles Thrash who is suffering because she had Charles Thrash with her, but he is under an evil and corrupt guardianship. The guardians won’t let him see Laura, and she loves Charles a lot, wouldn’t fuck with his money, but really, that’s just one story. My story is just as important, and I got discharged from the guardianship this past December of 2020 before you got sworn in. I think we need to work on ending this industry because it’s akin to slavery and human trafficking. It’s a bipartisan issue that shouldn’t get lost on Congress. Mitch and Chuck should be able to work together and come up with stuff to put in a bill that would severely limit the guardianship issue to people who are at the end of their lives, or solid aggression cases where the juvenile is murdering people, sexual abuse perpetrators, and so on. But we also need to limit how guardians can care for people, including that they can’t touch people’s bank accounts and can’t have assets that the person owns. Wards should have rights, period, and their rights should be verboten and maybe even robust. Even if you try to remove a person’s Constitutional rights, those would be restored after a certain time the juvenile demonstrates that they aren’t murdering people, sexually abusing others, etc. We also need to support black and minority criminals in a rehabilitative, not punitive system. See next thing in this blog here.

The criminal justice system is great, until you are black and blind and or brown or any other minority group. We need to rehabilitate all criminals, especially kids, with temporary natural guardianship for those under eighteen, a chance to live in a foster home setting instead of a damn jail cell. If a teenager needs help, we need to provide social workers and counselors galore for the person. We need to hit home for example, in the line of sex abuse work, that sex offenses are bad, and the teen who exhibits sexual abusive behaviors should be given a chance to change, and be normed and classified and given the all clear if they can demonstrate through behavioral changes and adapting to a new way of thinking that they won’t even think about touching kids. Aggressive teens who date rape should be required to go through the same program with those who molest their sisters. But here’s a catch: don’t make them go on a sex offense list with adults for thirty years. I like the idea of having them on the list of a separate kind, a teenage sex offender registry that ends at eighteen. And if they can demonstrate rehabilitation, then the sex offense data can in some cases be expunged. adults we can keep as is, but if an adult demonstrates properly that they won’t find kids to fuck or go fucking around with teenage girls, then they can definitely be eligible for some more rehab and eventual release from sex offender treatment and listing. Ex post facto punishment doesn’t always work, and I think sex offenders can and will learn new ways of adapting. I’d encourage you to talk to Kay Ivy, and get her to stop castrating males in Alabama. It’s lewd and bad to do such things, and psychologists agree that such conduct being bad, an equally punitive medication method doesn’t work.

I’m not saying pedophiles should be allowed to go free. I want you to understand and emphasize that pedophilia is not a sexual orientation. Predisposed sex predators and pedophiles, female and male respectively, should not ever contact kids again and we should certainly have them on a separate list but the situational folks should be given as much and many chances at rehabilitation as possible, but it’s like you have them on restrictions a lot at first, but little by little, as you did to your sons and daughter, just ease them off when they can be trusted. It’s the same concept as raising a teenager.

I want to emphasize that weed convictions should be erased. There are too many weed convicts who are colored and so on, and the good herb helps me sleep sometimes, so we need to legalize marijuana. Gimme a Marry Jane, okay?

Legal sex work should also be in the cards. Yes, I know how weird and immoral it must sound, but prostitutes sometimes become prostitutes because they have no other choice. We need to protect and legalize this work for women and men 21 years of age or older, if the Conservatives start gawking, and provide ways to get on a license list, and provide a school for potential prostitute students who want to learn how to service people. Lump it in to the hospitality industry if you are wondering. Transgender and gay people can also participate in a school like what I envision, but they have a prostitute school in Spain we could model things after. Just think about what protecting sex workers means. I may have become a sex worker because I had no other choice, and who would hire a blind woman who’s been through waht I have in the regular work sector?

I want to be clear on something. You and I are on no uncertain terms cradle Catholics. I’m not practicing at all, but since you understand Catholicism, I want you to understand that there are reasons why women get abortions. Women need such a thing as an alternative to having the rapist’s baby. We need an abortion because there’s no Brave New World ectogenesis measures like in an electric womb for babies just yet. And we need to use abortion as a tool to free up some space on the planet. I know Christians will gawk at me for saying this, but abortion sometimes saves a woman’s life, and it should be duly noted that the Trump appointees to the bench of the Supreme Court should be put on notice that their policy of making women go get the abortion meds themselves instead of having it delivered is dangerous. They could get harassed and harangued for wanting an abortion, but imagine someone fucked Ashley in the ass and got her pregnant and she didn’t like or trust the guy who did this. Ashley has all the rights of any woman, and should she want to, she should dispose of the thing inside her if she wants, and adoption is an expensive process all golden with white wealthy families taking the lead. Maybe they should allow abortion too, but if Ashley wants one, let her have one. If she chooses, we need to put the baby in a place of safety with a couple, man and man, woman and woman, or man and woman, or whatever, that will care for the child. Ashley is your daughter, and since she is her father’s daughter, she should at least be able to make choices about her body, and it’s her body herself. Let her make the choices she wants, right, Amy? And put Amy Coney Barrett in a state of I am not a handmaid, please. Women don’t need to carry babies they can’t or won’t have, and if physically unable, a woman could die giving birth. That’s dangerous because funerary bills would pile up and if Ashley died while giving birth to a rapist’s baby, what would you do? Don’t answer, just think about it for a split second.

I want to see blind people get an education. And as soon as Covid goes bye bye and this pandemic is under control, please pass legislation and encourage Congress to work on legislation guaranteeing blind kids Braille education. All blind people should learn Braille, regardless of how much or how little vision they have, and should have access to all resources pertaining to Braille at all levels. I have used Braille education to do my schoolwork, classwork and homework, and it’s imperative that we encourage blind kids to go to school with normally sighted kids, but we need to get them educational materials on par with sighted kids too. And yes, blind people need to learn to not just read, but write Braille, and they could also use raised markers to put things on their microwave ovens. Hey I do that. Encourage your secretary of education to do blindness training, and encourage that same person to expand programs for the blind into a federal thing. Whatever you want to do.

Geez, I better quit writing here, but I hope you find this and understand why I’m doing this.

Beth

Moving to Another Country Is Impossible Today

Dear readers,

I came close to thinking that my partner and I could move to a place like Sweden, but then again, there is a problem. My partner has disabilities, so do I. We are both different racial backgrounds, but we manage. The thing that bothers me about today’s Post Covid world … or what will be the post covid world, is that we can’t move. Restricting the movement of Americans in particular will hurt the rest of the planet. Why? Because travel is a moneymaker for some. For others, it’s life and death. Asylum from transgender related hate crimes is something that lots of transgender women need for their own safety. Immigrants from Mexico and Latin America need to come to someplace for refuge and to stay alive. Is it fair that asylum rules from the Trump administration should be implemented? No. Disabled Latinos are unable to receive jobs most of the time, but if America were to be like every other country in the world, we’d require sponsors and jobs.

While the Handmaid’s Tale could unfold if the violence is cured like ham here, especially during Joe’s inauguration, we need to be aware that these violent extremists don’t deserve asylum in Germany or other places. Hey, Angela Merkel said she was sad over the riots, and they were indeed riots. White people think they’re entitled to life itself because they’re white, to be called Miss and Mr. because they’re white. Example of this popped up in a Jack Benny podcast, where his butler, Rochester, who’s black, had to call Jack “Mr. Benny”. Yes, it sounds a bit like respect, but it’s racism. Pure and simple.

In other countries, there’s a racial reckoning too, but at least in Ghana, there hasn’t needed to be anything like the racial reckoning that has occurred in the United States. Ghana was the former slave coast, so I’m wondering if Trenton’s family has some ancestry there. Most African Americans do, at least, have some ancestry in the Ghanian slave coast, or the Ivory Coast. And they developed a culture of their own. While the slave’s Bible was used to oppress blacks, that is here in America, indigenous folks in Canada are going missing or being sterilized, which sucks. If we do or did move to Canada, we’d also need a sponsor and a job. I have a buddy in Canada who’s planning to get her American boyfriend out of here soon. I met this girl at a village Inn not far from my house, or what could have been an IHOP. The girl is pretty interesting I might add, and she’s done some pretty interesting things to make things work. She has a job, and her boyfriend? He’s a software genius and has created his own add ons for the popular screenreader NVDA. For the newbies to this blog, NVDA means non visual desktop access. Back to the topic now.

The thing that bothers me about lost travel opportunities for us Americans is that if my parents had been planning a second Italy trip, I would hope they wouldn’t. Italy is part of the EU and has banned Americans likewise because of Covid 19. My parents probably did take the Italy trip as a way to cement their power over me, which doesn’t seem to add up. Disabled women all over the world are not believed in the realm of sexual abuse, but still I think it could have been loads better in the U.S.

Restricting travel here in the States at a time when riots happen at the Capitol is simply asking for Gilead to come to fruition. Q Anon dudes in bearskin headdresses don’t need places in government. But there’s also a hidden cult called the Word of Faith Fellowship which resides in Spinndale, North Carolina. This church managed to destroy one family, and I read their story. It was awful. Their pastor is a woman who thinks it’s okay to abuse male and female babies and adults alike, blasting them and casting the so called demons out of them. such people don’t need a place in our country’s governing body politic if the cult still even exists. I applaud the survivors of WOF for standing up and speaking out. I applaud America for having religious freedom, but we need to act responsibly with that freedom. This includes putting regs on dangerous cults. I don’t want my kids or myself and my partner to get sucked into a cult, and micro control groups are another problematic thing. It’s this mentality that you can believe what you want without responsibility that sprang into Q Anon and other things.

As for the restricted travel, I feel like if we don’t leave this country, a repeat of the Holocaust could occur. Trenton and I need a place to bunk down and make a family, but there’s a few things I don’t want to happen. I don’t want my kids growing up speaking Swedish, Finnish, or Spanish even. They need to communicate with the family in English, their own obvious lingua franca. If the kids don’t learn English that they can use to communicate with their own parents, they will not succeed at all in family life, I presume. England has banned Americans, and might continue to ban us if we don’t get this covid crap under control. I don’t want to stay here though, with the rioting in the capitol, Pro Trump assholes wandering about my state, and the Prod Boys messing around with things. In any case, I don’t want to be in a situation where the women in this country have no virtually no rights. the Handmaid’s Tale is not irrelevant fiction, and I’m not a vagina flaunting feminist, as one woman might have put it. This woman might have survived sexual abuse, but she’s a self hater for some reason. I can’t comment on her stuff on Facebook without her saying that she thinks that my beliefs are why women don’t get taken seriously. Well, I don’t care anymore. Women need rights, must have rights, and will not escape the patriarchy until we have a right to be heard, believed, and trusted here in the U.S. I can’t justify all the technicalities of staying here any more. Canada might have been an answer, but they closed the border to so many. Trenton could be explicitly targeted for being black, and I’m not putting a target on his back here,, he’s just not that guy in the Hood. And we’re not interested in the Hood. we want to live in a safe place, where there is little chance of a death threat, and if we do get death threats, we need security. We want the city and county of Denver to pay for our security if such things happen. Or we could put the bill on Lakewood or Golden or Littleton. We need to be clear: leaving this country is a conflict we must consider in our minds. If we leave, we could face access barriers everywhere we go, and that means no Alexa skills or Google actions rolled out to us first. Certain songs are walled off in the United States but not other regions. I can’t go without my typical music, but Sweden and Finland have musics different from ours, but the world does not need to wall off music because they should or can. If I moved to Canada, we’d also have a pretty shitty Netflix selection, no Hulu, and no Disney Plus selections we want. Canadian media is different from our own, and we’d never watch Friends again. But what justifies it? If the Boogaloo assholes come knocking, they will take more than my blog away, my body away, and my other life away from me. Boogaloo will also destroy any sense of security I have, deploy methods of exterminating my friends and loved ones, and then they’ll populate Netflix and Hulu with racey content like that found in the Jack Benny show, while funny but still a bit racist. Let’s look at what they could ponder in the film industry.

First, when I was listening to Jack Benny, I noticed that Rochester was driving Jack’s car, and the car was also voiced by the same guy who does Woody the Woodpecker, Mel Blanc. That guy was amazing by the way. Mel made the car noises while you could imagine that Rochester was driving Benny’s car to the studio for the CBS show we would expect. The thing that bothered me was that “Mr. Benny” was what Rochester had to call his employer. What does Trenton’s mom think of this? She’s worked in data entry for years, but does anyone call her employer “Miss” or “Mrs.”? My mother in law should probably know that this sort of race based titling could pop up in the Boogaloo world if they had their way. Q Anon and the white nationalists could deem it inappropriate for Trenton, for instance, to call me simply Beth. Worse, they could say he couldn’t marry me. He’d have to call me “Miss Beth”. Young kids do this to me, but that doesn’t bother me because kids should learn respect as young as possible, but I don’t like to be called Miss or Mrs. Matthews because for one, the Miss part. It’s a foul stench of patriarchal difference between married and unmarried, owned and unowned. Women are not the property of their fathers or husbands, face this. This means that if I legally took Trenton’s name, it would feel like he owned me. But he knows he doesn’t. It’s not a race thing either, it’s a feminist thing. Revolutionary women kept their maiden names, especially Lucy Stone. Who knew.

If I leave the United States, what else would I miss? Well, barbecues and outdoor celebration of July 4 would be a thing of the past. Sure, I would miss the fireworks, but who needs that. What I’m more worried about is the walling off of musics in Canada versus the United States. Example, Google said that Fiddler on the Roof was not available in the United States, which is odd.

Another thing, if I did leave the States, it would be hard to find a country and planetary principality where Trenton is respected along with me. Blindness and all, we deserve respect. We don’t like conspiracy theories, we don’t like things that don’t align with human rights, not up for debate. Please note, we’ve had enough of the travel restrictions, the exploitation of the disabled, and the lawlessness perpetrated by those in the Capitol. Thank you for reading.

Beth

The Five Stages of Abuse: Detecting the Predators Before They Strike

Dear readers,

The following is my story, but broken down into the five stages of abuse as researched and codified by Dr. Leigh Baker’s Protecting Your Children from Sexual Predators. This book has been an invaluable tool to me for learning not only what happens when a predator strikes a child, but what happened to me personally. Please read with caution, some of this may be a bit graphic, and some of this may not.

TW descriptions of sexual abuse #abuseTW

Stage 1: Detection. This is easy to spot. Not always the same from person to person. Let me set the stage for my detection when I went through it. First and foremost, I was at the Daytona Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, or what was known at that time as simply the Rehab Center. Daytona Beach had lots of places to go, including the Volusia Mall and all kinds of beach places at that time, including the walkways and boardwalk. I was at the mall, browsing crap at Claire’s, where I usually get lost in all kinds of cute crap anyway. Then a man approached me. His name was Ricardo Guerra, or I’d know him as Rico for short. Rico approached me from somewhere in Claire’s, I’m pretty sure it was Claire’s, and he bought me a couple of things I wanted to start with. Oops. This led to the detection stage. I’m not sure what Rico was doing in detecting a piece of meat to eat, but the detection stage usually is when a predator gets to know their prey in some subtle ways. They have to detect things vulnerable about you, including things like you struggle in school, your parents suck, things like that. Maybe you feel out of balance in a new family, that is just as Jensen, the little boy in Leigh Baker’s case study, did. Dr. Baker used the example of a preschool teacher’s aid and a student for her case composite for the five stages, so I may go there from time to time, but remember, this was her work. I will however use examples of each stage from my own story, so keep reading.

Stage 2: Approach. Rico did some pretty mad approaching later on. He took me to the perfume counter at the mall, bought me a French flower perfume of some sort, I can’t quite write it here. Now, I had this perfume for a while, but Rico was a real nice guy at first. I didn’t know he was 51. He noticed my talents at the piano and singing, which was, in all due respect, the nice thing about it. But there are some things that you must know about Rico in the approach stage that really bothered me. Looking back, he had me alone a lot, wanted to take projects with me a bunch, and even tried to send me expensive gifts. This was also the case with the Mr. Bob and Jensen story. Bob learned that Jensen liked model planes and such, so he went and bought the little kid an expensive model plane. He disguised himself as a father figure. While this is different with boys, Rico also tried to disguise himself as a father figure for a girl. While he had his own daughter, Rico also had lots of issues going on in his own brain. My relationship with Rico took a turn for the next stage when we were sitting in the hall at the Rehab Center, and I could barely concentrate on nursing home and job skills and such. See next item.

Stage 3: Subjugation and Stage 4: Grooming. This goes kind of hand in hand. Subjugation makes it possible for the predator to isolate their victim, making more and more advances towards the victim, getting to know the parents, getting to know the people around them. The victim doesn’t really know what’s happening. Rico did all this. my dad wasn’t happy. Understandably, neither was my mom. After she found out Rico was doing Stage 4, the grooming, it became abundantly clear that the abuse stage would follow. Rico was removed from the Rehab Center because of claims he had sex with me. Well, those claims would have been true had he gone on to the next stage. Something Dr. Baker writes clearly in her chapter on these stages, sometimes the predator has to go back through stages 3 and 4 to get to stage 5. See nextx item.

Stage 5: The Abuse. You could say that Rico was stupid enough not to do stage 5. I ended up polishing off his feet, but that wasn’t really sexual enough. He wanted me to cop a feel at his body, but let’s face it. Sexual contact was never made. Even when he was removed from the Rehab Center, I think he was like, oh, I didn’t do it. I had to believe him because for real, he never had sex with a minor. In the abuse stage, Dr. Baker writes that the teacher’s aid encouraged his student to let him touch the little boy’s body. This is truly abusive. If any adult in authority tells your child to touch them or they touch the child, it is a clear sign that the abuse stage has passed. Rico advanced pretty strongly, but his abuse wasn’t really there all the way. The only way he could have done something would have been if I really did touch his penis, and he would have returned such things by touching my body parts. Nobody touched there. Period.

The appropriate Response. Parents, if you’re reading this, know a few different points about surviving sex abuse and harassment. First, it is not the survivor’s fault. Second, the survivor should not be given any sort of punishment for going through sexual abuse. Because of Rico, I had to live in my parents’ house for a few years, enduring isolation and guardianship and my parents telling me not to talk to all kinds of people because in their minds, the men were bad news. However, the choices my parents made even during my tenure at the Colorado Center for the Blind were also very poor. I was not going to get much support from my parents, and it took years of therapy and finding the right people to get me over the predation experience I suffered at the hands of Rico. His name appears on a court filing my parents tried to do that included a restraining order. Well, what if they had done this to men because they were black? My parents might have also done the same shit to my current partner, Trenton, because of his African American blood and heritage. They could have also told a judge that a man who was black was on drugs and the judges would believe my parents over me. Thankfully, Judge Tanya Rainwater was smart and didn’t believe my parents and their claims of sexual abuse at the hands of Ricardo Guerra. The judge said there was no proof of sex, and she wanted DNA and penetration and all that. It could have happened. So what were my vulnerabilities? I was on the verge of committing suicide, wanting to date teen boys, but Rico said they were losers. Well, he himself was a loser. I was also deemed a mental case by the high school, something I didn’t want. They recommended, after all the stages of abuse and my parents’ laxidasical response and their lackluster involvement, they recommended I have an attendant at school. This was humiliating. I would never forgive THS for this crap. Not ever. What my O and M instructor had to do was allow someone to follow me around at school. She was not allowing of anyone, really nothing occurred and I had to have occupational therapy because of my parents’ toxicity. They blamed the victim of sexual abuse instead of help and support the survivor. Guardianship in all cases is an inappropriate response to sexual abuse. Parents, you need to get adequate counseling for your teenager or your child, not guardianship for the budding young adult with disabilities who has suffered sexual abuse. Making up mental health stats and diagnostics will not get you anywhere but resentment from the child or teen who becomes an adult. Every action you make has an equal or opposite reaction. The response to Rico’s abuse my parents concocted was nothing more than victim blaming, shaming, and an ill fated understanding of how predators operate and communicate. My parents should have read Dr. Baker’s book and seen the composite sketches, and maybe allowed me to participate in talks about sexual abuse and the stages of such. If they had, they would have understood that Rico was a bad groomer, a terrible abuser, and I was a victim, not something to pore over in guardianship files, not someone to exploit. My money and wages are lost, I can’t even get a job or go to college because of the sexual abuse. Because of the guardianship, I was relegated to men who would do nothing but cheat on me, tell me to go fuck off because I had guardianship, and or they’d act like it was the best thing to do. Well, it’s not. I resent my parents for doing this, and I resent the professionals who followed this track and wanted me to suffer for the abuse I suffered. Professionals should never, never under any circumstances recommend guardianship for a child or teen who has disabilities because they will not be able to work, have a family, or grow up. It’s institutional ableism at its finest, and it’s worse when the child or teen is blind. Blindness is the most feared disability on the planet, and I had lots of delays in adaptive skills training because of guardianship. I didn’t even know how to prepare my own food till I was over 23 years old and had a fully furnished apartment. Ugh. With the fully equipped kitchen I was able to learn food prep techniques, but the whole time I was at CCB, they tried to scale back my program or make exceptions because of the guardianship. And all this because of Ricardo’s abuse. Please, parents, listen to your kids. If they don’t want to be labeled a mental case because they’re in love with a teenage boy, especially if it’s a girl, please listen. If you don’t listen to your child or teen, you could end up being resented or the relationship could go adrift. I only receive calls from my parents now every christmas and birthday, not enough to solidify a good relationship. It makes me wonder what my own kids will think because they will end up not having a Grandma and Grandpa around to give them presents, cookies, and stories of the past. Grandparents are important, but for my children, they are not important because they could have told me to abort a child had I had one at all at this time. My parents would justify the abortion as getting rid of the blood of a blind woman. My baby is not likely to be born blind, but making it so I can’t have kids would have been an option had my parents kept me at home. I left because they were telling me when and how to use the Internet, and at age 23, I flew away and quit college at FSU. I never went back, except on Christmas vacation, but was spiritually abused about being a Muslim because I had converted trying to find the answers. Spiritual abuse is common in families with children who have disability as well. I’m 34 now, unemployed, no kids, but with a perfectly awesome husband and partner in commitment. We couldn’t legally marry because his healthcare check and survival benefits would have been taken away. I would never advocate divorce for us just to save our checks, and it is selfish in my opinion. I wish people would stay married for life, and I swore that on my partner. However, he and I would benefit from having a child. The child would need a safe home and housing we don’t have and can’t provide, and all this because of Ricardo Guerra. He doesn’t realize how much he ruined my life and the lives of the people around me. I guess predators don’t always realize how much they ruin people’s lives.

Thank you for reading this blog. I will be telling a summary of my story on the third season of my podcast, and I will be doing some research to help find some music for this. I need a heraldry fanfare because we’re talking about the Throne Room with Beth Taurasi and I’m supposed to portray the Queen thing with dignity. Please listen to the podcast and learn a great deal if you can.

Beth

Guide Dogs and Spiritual Centers: How to Include Your Congregants with Guide and Service Animals Who Are Disabled

Dear readers,

You’re probably a cleric or minister who’s had a guide dog or service animal user in your congregation. You probably don’t know much about the dog or other animal’s ability to do its job and not mess up your building space. So here’s the question: have you considered making your space welcoming for these people and their dogs? Let’s take a look at guide dogs and service animals, and I’ll tell you how my guide dog handler friends would like you to address these issues.

Guide dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California is a great example of a guide dog school. Note: Seeing Eye dogs are usually only dogs trained and registered at the Seeing Eye dog school in Morristown, NJ, so please refer to all other types of mobility assistance dogs for the blind as simply “guide dogs.” Guide dogs help their blind owners walk around and they will be able to walk up and down your church aisle. While you’re busy making your church or spiritual place of worship welcoming to the wheelchair user, there are some issues with blind people who use guide dogs being asked to leave or not let the dog in the communion line or otherwise don’t bring the dog at all.

First and foremost, guide dog training takes a lot of effort, love, and money. The dogs are raised with puppy raisers as young as eight weeks old, right after weaning from the mother dog. When they are removed from the mother, they are individually given to a family or person who wants to help instill the fundamentals of obedience and socialization. This sort of training includes the sit, down, stay, and other sorts of basics. They also learn to do some commands like forward, left, right, etc. They don’t do harness stuff till they leave the puppy raiser and go to what we blind people would call “dog college.” At the dog school, you as the dog handler would learn how to control your dog, give corrections gently and such, and how to work with the dog in harness. There are also dogs at the schools that are in training to become guides. If you want all kinds of cuteness and puppy love, watch Pick of the Litter, and watch GDB pups go into training. Some will become breeders, others will become working guides. The working guides are amazing guides indeed, so when you meet a guide dog user for the first time, ask them questions about what your dog user friend uses their service animal for. They will be glad to answer, but please don’t give a standoffish comment like, “Oh, you can’t bring the dog here.” I’ve had people complement my dog handler friends on how beautiful their dogs are. If I personally had a guide dog, I would groom the dog like crazy to perfection, put bows and ribbons on their collar, and make sure the dog is spiffy and all dressed up to impress, just like myself. This would be great for job interviews, and making a good first impression on a church or spiritual leader in a center of spiritual knowledge.

Service animals for wheelchair users follow the same sort of path, and some disabled people have diabetic alert dogs. Here’s a profile you guys might want to consider: there’s this one dog who was a breeder, and after she bred two or more litters of successful working guides, she became a diabetic alert dog for her custodian breeder, Jim. I believe her name was Charity, but I forget the name altogether but wait, Trinity. How appropriate. Trinity might be her name, but I know it had a y at the end, that’s all I remember. This dog had also bred a son, Jenkins, who also went on to become the breeder stud behind several chocolate labs. Chocolate labs are adorable dogs with brown coats as brown as, well, chocolate. German shepherds are highly responsible dogs with high intelligence, but the dogs frequently chosen by guide dog schools these days include labs and golden retrievers, beautiful dogs with great devotion to their masters and they are highly intelligent and responsible dogs. Goldens are known for being good family dogs, but I think their spirits can be a bit high, and they can sometimes be class clowns. That’s just my observation for me of some guide dog users and their guides.

When you first meet a guide dog user, don’t be alarmed. If you’re a Muslim imam or cleric in a mosque, you may recall that the nose of a dog is dirty, I get it, but think of this. The dog has its own natural way of doing a kneeling pose, the sort of pose you do when you pray. When a dog is lying down, it looks so cute with the legs all done that way. My ex said something about that in a riddle. Anyway, if you’re Muslim and come across a guide dog user, don’t be alarmed. The dog won’t lick unless your hand is right underneath their nose, but keep your distance from the team as they work, and they will follow you if commanded. That is, the handler may tell the dog to follow you to a seat. Let the team do its job. The dog will be content lying down on the floor, so the brother or sister handler will be happy to go off and pray in the center of the circle. For Christian and Jewish establishments, don’t be afraid to bless the guide or service animal. My choir director goes to a Mennonite church, and dogs are a frequent love of hers. I have a guide dog handler friend who comes in to choir, barring the pandemic, and sometimes she gets a break at the church. Even animals need to relax too, so when you are able, for all religious areas, let the team play together and designate a guide or service dog relief spot. Tell your congregants with dogs for service exactly where they can and cannot relieve their animals, and this will assure your congregation is safe. Don’t be alarmed if the dog is lying on the floor, but dogs make great conversation starters when they greet people, wag their tails, and do their work with grace and dignity, and with a sense of animal humor. Don’t forget about the guide and service dog retirement stage. Your congregant will want to retire their guide or service animal at a certain age. For example, some guide dog schools recommend retiring your dog at age eight or nine. That is, in human years. Dog years is different in calculation than those of humans for some strange reason.

What should you not do with a service dog? Well, don’t encourage anyone to pet the dog while they’re in harness working. Most service dogs will only respond to their master in harness while working, and they don’t need doggy distractions. Do not ask for ID’s or papers for your potential congregant’s dogs because they don’t usually provide those. However, you can also ask where the dog was trained and contact the guide dog school. GDB and Guiding Eyes are amazing schools, to the most highest degree I can think of. I’ve heard that Pilot dogs is okay. Some prefer Leader dogs. But think about the dog and its training. GDB does have specific requirements for dogs, evaluations being done on the pups till they reach maturity and some are even cut well in to the guiding training. some dogs don’t make the cut, but others who do are lucky. Guide dog training also requires that the dog learn to effectively intelligently disobey their owner if the command could put the owner in danger. Examples of this include if there’s a car rolling down the street, I tell the guide dog “forward” while the car is going on the street, and the dog doesn’t move. I have to wait until there’s a deep and definite lull in the traffic, then tell the dog to go again. The command is usually a forward, and if you want to speed up, there’s a command for that. You want to ask as many questions as you want to ask, but they have to be good questions. Now, how does this relate to spiritual matters? Guide dogs can do just about everything guide related for their owners. For the wheelchair companion dogs, be careful of things that fall on the floor. Such dogs can be trained to pick them up, and ask first before attempting to pick up a dropped item for a service dog user. For dogs that assist the deaf, their job is to alert the person when someone is talking to them, when the phone rings, and sometimes to paw the owner if a fast moving vehicle is running down the road. Psychological service dogs count too, and so do diabetic alert and medical service dogs. Jim’s dog has had training to alert him when his blood sugar is too low or too high. Respect when the dog is alerting you to something, especially in the case where an epileptic person with seizures is using their alert dogs. Seizure dogs are great, but please note that such dogs are trained to lick their owners in the face. It may look like they’re giving them doggy kisses, but when I saw this one dog doing that, it stimulated the brain of the seizing woman on the floor. Also, dogs like these are supposed to alert the average Joe citizen for help if their owner is on the floor. I love dogs, as one can tell, and the amazing things they do for people. If the service dogs for veterans pop up, don’t be afraid to ask. But remember, veterans with PTSD service dogs should get no less than the guiding service dog for the blind. My cousin has a dog that helps him get over stuff, and he’s an army vet. My best friend from high school has a brace and balancee and PTSD service dog and … well, dogs are good for just about everything. Some dogs can predict seizures, so if the dog is alerting you or the owner to a seizure, please note that this is a natural occurrence, and if the person falls, get help immediately. That’s my story on service dogs and spiritual centers.

Beth