Loving Day: what It Means to Me

Dear readers,

Imagine you couldn’t marry the person you loved because the person you loved was a different skin color. That was the reality of the Lovings, Mildred and Richard. About yesterday, it was Loving Day, a day that celebrates something Richard and Mildred dared to do. They were each raised in a very inclusive community. Mildred was one color, Richard the other. but it didn’t matter to Mildred’s brother Otha. Otha was the one who set Mildred up with Richard, they’d been friends in school. Isn’t that how it all works? they secretly married because of a last vestige of segregation in their home state, and it was horrible. They were affected by racial purity and what they call antimiscegenation laws that prohibited interracial marriage. This couple went above the heads of the authorities, pursued justice for each other and their children, and they ultimately won the fight for all interracial couples such as myself and Trenton.

what does Loving Day have to do with me as a person? Personally, I find black people are the strongest and best examples of really resourceful people on the planet. I’m ashamed to say that white people try every day to steal the inventiveness away from black folk. Let’s say that the blacks invented a lot of things, including traffic lights, ice cream, a refrigerator, if I’m not mistaken. Black people find ways to make stuff work, but white people just sit around and say they’re smarter when all they seem to be able to do in history is plunder, stalk, and conquer, moreover kill everybody and sit there and make everybody bow down to them, and subjugate. It’s a pattern much like the Elvenbane’s elves. Thanks, Mercedes Lackey.

Why did I just write this though? Trenton is a resourceful sort, just like half the human race. Now I’m not saying all black men are the same way, but the air I get from the black men and women and others alike is that they’re highly intelligent, and no, not servile at all. I can’t stand it when someone says a black man is a servant, a black woman should work as a maid, etc etc. That makes me wanna vomit, because my mother in law is no hotel maid, she worked for years doing computer work. Now that’s brilliant. There is so much untapped talent in both the blind and black communities, but I digress.

As a woman who is ashamed to have been raised in a whitewashed piece of crap family, I don’t even want to entertain the idea of having to put on that Martha apron and cook for some evil or rather dastardly white guy. My mom would slave away at the kitchen every day, my dad would watch football. He rarely cooked, except for a goddamn single dish and it was usually either that or grilled somethings. typical simtcom family you might think, but my birthday was usually too small, life wasn’t affirmed much after the age of twenty, and even when I passed the age of 21 I did not get much, even if I did, it was too small. I never had friends except for the extreme evangelical idiots that populated Titusville, mostly white people, and here I was thinking about marrying a black man. I refuse to put on that stupid Martha apron and go to work in the kitchen, and moreover, it would dishonor all I fought for if I was popping out more than five kids. Ugh. Some evangelical christians in Titusville have this propensity to have too many kids, whether one or three or even six. The biggest family I know is a religious fundamentalist family we all know, and their eldest son Josh committed some dire crimes. He’s white.

So if Loving hadn’t been handed down, I would have been lonely. Trenton is black, and a justice of the Supreme Court would have made hateful statements about blacks, but that wasn’t the case. Honestly, I love Trenton to death. He has his imperfections like everybody else. In two days, we will celebrate Juneteenth, and we’ll have a drum duet, duh. Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery, and I can tell you slavery would have affected all of us, not just blacks and whites. I’m sorry, but if anyone believes in slavery, that is the wrongest thing in the world. there are still slaves in the world, although not the american slaves, not sanctioned at least. If you take a trip through Atlanta Airport, you’l probably see slaves being shipped and transported, and you won’t even notice. Human trafficking as they now call it is so rampant in poorer communities, and we need to know what causes it. More to come.

Beth

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

Congratulations, Kamala

Dear Miss harris,

Yes, this is something I’ve always known i would be doing, writing a letter in my blog to you. I want to first congratulate you for winning the election because little girls, especially brown and black ones, will be extremely proud to have a girl like them on top. Almost. But here’s what you need to do. These are things you and Joe need to work together on, and some of this overlaps with Joe’s letter i threw at this blog.

First and foremost, work with Congress on corona virus relief. We need our IHOP and other restaurants to stay open and prepared for the crowds. In order for this to happen, we need a national mask mandate, period. No ideological weirdness or anything.

Work with Joe on ending the Muslim ban. Joe will certainly do this because the Muslim ban is racist bullshit designed to prevent so called terror attacks, which it only made white supremacy worse. We can’t have these white supremacists messing about in our country, especially the Boogaloo Boys and other groups that purport to be American and patriotic. They’re not. They will target you and Joe and others, so just be on your toes.

Please make sure Congress confirms all the cabinet positions Joe wants. He needs an education secretary that doesn’t sell kids to Bethany Christian services. This is serious business, and we need to black history the hell out of education, so to speak. What I mean is that we need to teach black history, LGBTQI+ history and other histories through the eyes of historians who live it. We’re all historians, and Joe’s pick for education secretary is important in this case.

Please, whatever you do, make sure the disabled are top priority for considerations we need to initially work on. The thing we need to do is mentioned in Joe’s letter. Please raise the resource limit for SSI and SSDI recipients, give them the right to marry without penalty, and don’t mess with Medicaid because disabled people are married. We need family medicaid plans that help us maintain health, especially for us females who’ve been abused most of all. As a woman who is blind, I was abused emotionally and psychologically for fifteen years, lawyers tricking me into not fighting the abusive guardianship that was put on me. Guardianships by the way should be illegal, period. Please, Kamala harris, whatever you do, don’t enable these abusers to continue their abuse. Females of color with disabilities are counting on you.

You and Joe need to fix the entire foreign policy situation, but you also need to reverse the policies on disabled immigrants. Many countries require all their citizens to work or don’t have resources to educate their disabled kids or help disabled veterans of their wars. We in America have opportunities we should be sharing, not denying, disabled people. Please beg the Congress to consider what needs to happen to make America truly safe and diverse again.

As a blind woman, people might think it is impossible for me to have kids without risking the kids’ sight. Well, let’s put things in perspective. As a blind person who knows, I know that my blindness was not caused by genetic things that could be passed down to another offspring. The chances of having a baby who’s blind are slim, slim to none. Therefore, I’d encourage you to look at disabled women as women, period, and promote policies that allow such women to decide when and whether to have children. Disabled women are counting on you as well. Disabled men can be good fathers, and I’d encourage you to set up policies that encourage disabled men to be responsible fathers, and the nondisabled partners of such men to not block these men out of their kids’ lives. I have a friend who sadly doesn’t support you that needs a policy like this. I have other friends who have not been allowed countless hours of parenting time with their kids. Here we have disabled dads and moms denied the chance to parent, so please, protect disabled people’s right to parent.

Reverse Buck Versus Bell, whatever you do. Do not allow this caselaw to continue unchecked. My partner and I want babies, sure, but we don’t want a Carrie Buck to happen to me. Trenton would be upset if someone removed our baby.

Anyway, I’d like to thank you for accepting the victory and Joe is going to be awesome. They say in Africa, behind every successful man, there’s a successful woman. I want you to do something to make sure Obama’s legacy is not ruined either. That means healthy lunch items, no more Trump posted cafeteria foods either. No more of the Donald’s hateful crap. I’d like to draft a way to get something done about hate groups driving our opposition too.

While I have lots to share, I have to end here. Please accept my thank yous and be the best vice president you can be.

Beth Taurasi

Congratulations, Joe

Dear President Elect Biden,

I knew you could do this. I want to congratulate you for winning the election because for one, I’m sick of the anti immigrant rhetoric and all the crap Trump was putting out there. I was the victim of trolls on the internet, trolls that would not stop spewing hate speech when Trump first got elected in 2016. Mr. Biden, I have a political laundry list you must do in order to help disabled people and others throughout your presidency.

First, we need to update the SSI program to reflect inflation costs, moving the resource limit from $2000 to $100,000 because we can’t buy anything or keep anything or save up anything under this resource limit. A lot of independence things are beyond our resources to get, and Able accounts are out of reach because of Fifth Third Bank, and I don’t have much support in getting money for an Able account.

Do away with the marriage penalty. It is destructive to relationships like mine and Trenton’s. You won the election on a special day for us, our wedding day, which was celebrated without a license or papers to certify that we are married. Trenton and I had a commitment ceremony, something that most disabled people are forced to do because either this, that, or we choose love over caring for ourselves. We hate being selfish, and we should be allowed to be with the person we love without penalty. Period. Disabled people must dare to dream of having children, and with the pandemic sweeping the country, a new baby is a sign of hope and joy we all need.

Do something about gentrification. I’d be happy to see if Congress can tackle the issue of whites taking away housing for blacks, disabled people, and other minority groups. My partner’s black, and we’re both blind, and can’t earn money the conventional way. I’ve been wrung through MLM companies, told to do something about my lack of pulling myself up by my own bootstraps, and then some. But alas, my parents attacked my rights for fifteen years. Fifteen years and they took away the prime of my life, I should have been married at 22, had kids, and a house of my own. I should have been able to do all those things because it’s just a shame that college is expensive and it’s also a shame on the rest of the blind. They have attacked me and called me a slut, and so for personal reasons, I don’t have a job and don’t associate with orgs not willing to let me in the door. the American Council of the Blind is not present in Colorado, only the National federation of the Blind, but the Metro Denver chapters have closed their doors to me, and it all boils down to they don’t believe I’m good for anything. they want to judge and pick at behavior they believe is detrimental to work. what work? I can’t sit there and answer questions that are illegal for a job, and if I have to, what then? Most jobs require experience or a college degree, but even a college degree is not going to show anything. They’ll hire the qualified sighted person over me because of the sight. Joe, if I was in your shoes, and i was running for President, I would probably have to sue a lot of people for putting vulgar attack ads on TV against me. imagine, all those attack ads saying things like, “Beth Taurasi had multiple sex partners, married a black man illegally, can’t even find a job anywhere. We should not give her the job of messing up our country and doing a disability agenda on us.” That would be the gentry’s vulgarest attack ad possibility, but trust me, I’d have to make sure you or someone before me bans such attack ads because they’re impolite, and have nothing to do with politics. They’re personal attacks on my sex life and that’s what men often do to women, and they attack us by our looks. I choose books, but they want looks. Anyway, …

Do something about illegal questioning of disabled job applicants who are blind, especially those who are blind. Hammer it home to employer interviewers that if they don’t get it straight, that if they don’t not ask illegal questions, they will be fined or jailed for years. Do something to stop people from asking stupid questions about blindness in the formal sense of the job interview. For example, I want to be a piano teacher, but someone might ask, “Why should I hire you because you’ll touch my kid, etc etc, and you’re blind.” First and foremost, you need to get a grip. if you’re interviewing me for a piano teacher job, I’ll be honest, the touching kids thing could be taken way out of context. I would have to do what i call “poking and prodding” the hands of the young pianist who’s liable to flatten their fingers and not understand finger position. I will have the young one put their hand on top of mine so they can feel the fingers and how they’re curved. They have to be curved, at least, otherwise there’s at least one Italian pianist who does that, but who does that at all? But the truth is, if someone interviews me for that position, the only thing i can offer is that I went to college, I studied music in college, and had to drop out because of accommodations and lack of independence skills which is appropriate to the disabled. This really needs to be addressed though, as there are many blind musicians willing to contribute their voices and their skills to music and music theory. As a potential producer even, I want to put my skills to work, but the production equipment and software costs too much, so what do I need? A bigger living room, a baby grand, and young students to teach. $25 an hour is fine, but let’s face it, I don’t want to be fired for being blind. Parents would be there at all lessons, and I’d make it clear. The parent’s role will not change, my role will not change much, but still. I will teach the child to play Bach, Beethoven, and so on. But I don’t want to be under scrutiny for being blind. So Mr. Biden, make it so that we don’t have to live under scrutiny, yet you have GOP pundits ordering us to work for a man in an office.

Please make it easier for a blind musician to be noticed. Your former boss, President Barack Obama, totally went with it when he proclaimed a blindness equality day during his presidency. he was amazing, I’m not gonna lie. Obama and you both deserve the deepest congratulations.

Please ban certain GOP operatives from banning Muslims and immigrants from coming here. Get the kids out of the cages, and let them in. Do something about the border deportations of parents, and take Bethany Christian Services’s adoption license away. Be sure that gay and lesbian parents can adopt, no matter what agency they go through, and let it be known that religious affiliation is no license to discriminate. I know there are more foster kids than families. the Bethany Christian families might not be fit for all those latinx children that were taken away from their parents. I’d encourage you to invest in these kids, and take the parents with Bethany Christian out of the picture. Reverse any such Gileadean policies that promote child separation and the sale of children to these wanton organizations.

Please expand social and housing for black and minorities. Think of this as reparations for slavery. We need reparations for black males especially, not that the females have any less of a chance, but we need to address all blacks as a whole. Trenton, my husband in commitment and life itself, is black. He might be turned down for shelter in a bigger apartment, and we’re living in an unsafe wreck of a building that likes to be stupid unless you scream help for every maintaining thing you need done. Example, it took days and weeks to get some things done in the building. If I ask someone to drain the shower, I expect it done the same day because i can’t just sit there and do the shower myself. If I ask someone to fix a dorrknob with sharp edges on it, I expect it to be done, way less than it actually took to fix a doorknob on a closet. it took weeks for maintenance to actually fix the doorknob and we had to ask for it. They seriously need to learn to care about us residents or go straight to Hell, and that’s the whole thing about HUD apartments. We want a three bedroom house or apartment that can be rented or owned but it has to have safety and transport. With your expansion of social programs for the disabled and minority groups, maybe it’ll be good for us so we can have a family and live normally, and i can do gig work to get extra money on top of social security. the gig work will not be steady, so won’t be declared. that’s another thing i want you to do.

Do not allow the SSA to simply take away from those currently receiving SSI or SSDI benefits when they choose to go to work. let them, as I said before, keep a larger resource amount, especially because of inflation. But moreover, don’t tax any income we earn on top of the thing we get unless it’s over the resources limit. I’d be happy to pay taxes if I was wealthy like so many of your celebrities and … oh, did I mention Donald Trump? If he’s that damn wealthy, he should be having his taxes done. Anyway, I want to make sure you have a good laundry list of things to do for us that needs to be done.

There’s one more thing I think that could be done. Encourage Kamala to run for president in 2024, unless she says no. If not, i want Neill Patrick harris to take your place in 2024, no hurt feelings but that guy’s hilarious. Mr. Harris would be a good start to a bright future because of hot Tub time Machine 2, don’t ask me where in the movie that is because of spoilers I won’t give out. But 2025, in any case, is where the guys end up for that pportion of the movie, spoiler over.

Mr. President Elect, I’m super happy you got elected, and the champagne is flowing everywhere but take a look at what you have to do. You know you have to deal with the Corona virus pandemic, but please make that corona thing go away so we can go back and live life normally. Also, please encourage Disneyland to open because there are too many lawsuits about it by mayors, and it’s getting bad. Florida also needs a serious head check. Those people are total douchebags sometimes, not all of them but you know Florida man will make you cringe. Example, Florida man runs around naked and wrangles a gator in mid air. Florida man caught knocking Slurpee off someone. Florida man arrested for … blank blank blank. Fill in the blank with the latest crime spree, including changing the governor’s voting address. that I admit was funny, but we need to do something about those weirdos in Florida.

Anyway, thank you for believing in us as a country. Please hurry up and take the oath of office, damn it, so we can work together as a people and restore decency and health to all.

Sincerely,

Beth Taurasi

First blog post in a while, and a warning

Dear readers,

First of all, I’d like to thank you guys for being so wonderful and liking my stuf on WordPress. Second, I have a bit of a warning. This is personal.

I’ve been blocked on Twitter by someone I thought was a friend. I had to delete his phone number anyway because he turned out to have what Tallahassee from Zombieland franchise movies calls “a purdy mouth”. Yeah, he had a pretty big mouth and probably was engaging in HIPAA based attacks on my mental state and health. This is unprecedented territory and must be stopped. Imagine if someone spread a rumor that I had Covid19. Imagine for a moment it was you who was the victim of a big bad rumor that you heard voices in your head, had cancerous tumors growing out your ass, etc etc. This is not something you mess around with, and health attacks are downright illegal. The man’s name? I hate to be the namer of things, but his twitter account is jorgepaez1994 and he blocked me so he could probably engage in these HIPAA based attacks. I warn you all that if you are my supporters and reading this, do NOT use this information to harass or bring bad luck to this user. He already knows what’s coming. Please do not contact this person, and do your best to warn others of what he and his buddies are probably up to. Blocking me on Twitter for any reason other than I did something wrong is quite stupid. And engaging in HIPAA based attacks will not be tolerated or made legal by your hand. If you don’t want people spreading rumors about you and if you don’t want people to say something that is inaccurate or untrue, do not engage in this unprecedented attack on my health and well being. My parents are reversing guardianship guidelines as it is because they know they messed up, they know that now it’s too late for me to have a healthy and happy family and success in any career. They know what kind of bullshit that guardianship brought, and it was all evil and bad luck. Jorgepaez1994 is not to be contacted, and I won’t be in touch with him much at all, if not at all because of these HIPAA based attacks and the fact is he followed and blocked me. He attacked my dignity along with some others, usernames I don’t wish to name at this time because I was threatened once. Also, if there’s anyone who wants to engage in a HIPAA based attack, turn yourself in immediately and don’t say a word. Do not spread medical misinformation about anything, whether it’s me or the corona virus. Spreading rumors is not a good activity to engage in, and the blindness community does not need to be spreading HIPAA related information about me, and this is my own story to tell. That guardianship is gone with the wind, so you all move on. If I find that any of you guys tries to get in my shoes about Jorgepaez1994, please note that I will not respond to threatening phone calls and letters, and I won’t respond to any harassment by email or text message. Please, stop telling me to venture into dangerous territory. Florida is the second highest covid state in the nation, so there’s no reason to travel there at this point. Even this guy knows it.

For those who’ve behaved themselves on here, thanks. I appreciate the love and support i’ve gotten since disabling comments. Nobody is to comment here on the blog, and that is because of trolls and haters like the guy I mentioned earlier. I don’t know what his real intent is by following me and suddenly blocking me on Twitter. But it don’t look good. I don’t want purdy mouths on my twitter or facebook commenting weird, so please, if you’re a zombie and you plan to eat me in Zombieland, do stay in your fictional parallel universe and don’t eat at all. Thank you all, and I hope I can be of better service to you all in the future.

Beth