Tag Archives: self determination

A Poem Called “I am not retarded”

I am not retarded,

by theamazinJ

I can think for myself,
I have a mind of my own,
I am a Masters student,
I am a filmmaker,
I am an artist,
I am a poet,
I am a person,
I am not less than what you think,
I am an independent citizen,
I need support like everyone else,
I am capable even though I am disabled,
disability does not mean I am hidden from society,
disability does not mean I cannot say “I am disabled and proud”
disability does not mean my voice does not matter,
disability does not mean I can’t do anything,
disability means I need to structure my supports
and build a supported decision making agreement
between my supporters
as myself being the decision maker
like you and you and you in the world.
I disagree with people
as much as I agree,
I do not agree with you on some things,
but I agree on other things,
and that’s okay.
I can speak out on what I believe and feel
an that’s ok because it’s how I feel
and it does not mean
I am too easily influenced or ‘brainwashed’
because being ‘brainwashed’ is not even a thing,
it is a social construction, it is not even real,
and it is figure of speech of
someone’s imagination to make a person seem crazy,
to make a person feel disregarded as a person,
and to not allow a person to take responsibility for their choices
even if the person felt at the time
to choose something for their own self-care,
even if it was for their own way of
making meaning with the world,
my own way of growing and maturing
and doing things on my own,
to get to an understanding of what
I can do without the world telling me otherwise
as if I need to always be told
as if I am child and not the adult that I am.
Presuming competence is so important,
it is so liberating for everyone
because the social model of disability
is not about discrediting medicine,
it is about self-determination
it’s about de-stigmatizing what the medical model did,
so disabled people make their decisions
and using accommodations even it is from medicine
to help a person live their life,
even if they need other accessibilities
to do this as well,
even if many do not understand the
social model of disability,
that’s ok, but please don’t discredit it,
don’t discredit an individual’s right to make decisions
based on how they may feel at the time,
allow leeway in may be taking responsibility
for why the individual chose that decision at the time,
may be it wasn’t all about the individual’s behavior
maybe it could have been the way
the individual felt from the behavior
of the people around them.
Relationships are a two way street.
Everything that happens is never one sided,
it is never the fault of one person,
everyone can always take responsibility for
every decision that is made by an individual.
There is a reason why things happen,
and sometimes that reason needs to be known,
sometimes the reason is projected on the decision maker
because the other people don’t want to
feel bad or don’t want to know they might have done
something wrong.
There is never what someone did was wrong
like there is never what someone did was right.
Every decision we make is something we did
from how we felt at the time.
Everywhere we go, every decision we make,
are decisions that may have been
tough for us to make,
but it was decisions from our path
to help us grow,
to help us mature,
and to help us further our destiny
to live our life.
Every decision an individual makes
is by how we felt
and whoever was around the individual at that time
including the individual
who needs to take responsibility for that decision.
Take responsibility for yourself
and most importantly take responsibility
for every other person as a decision maker
regardless of who the person is or was
even if person is disabled or
even if the person is non-disabled.
It’s not all about you or them,
it’s all about the decision that was made.

Building Bridges when meeting people in groups

Meet up groups : Specific Functions

1) Meeting with likeminded individuals in the community, not in a congregate settings like a home or other segregated areas
2) Hanging out, socializing, getting to know people in the community going to events the organizers create
3) Sharing ideas
4) Not anticipating finding a sexual partner, (if the person is looking for this then they should not anticipate or expect this at all from happening), and just sharing each other’s moments even if it is playing a board game or any other type of activity
5) Think about building bridges with each other and not complaining or criticizing each other

Meeting in groups are supposed to be for fun social events for everyone to enjoy together because people came together for that purpose. Don’t let anyone take that fun away from you and don’t allow anyone into your head to take your experience you needed from that group. Some groups exist and are run by professionals like social workers, but not all are run by professionals. Every group is run for a purpose to bring people together. Those people who are impaired needing support to get them to the group tend to go to groups that are run by professionals while those people who are impaired with needing little support in getting them to the group, tend to go to groups run by peers.

No one can go to a group to anticipate meeting anyone even finding a partner or a friend. It is just about being with a group in the community. When anyone is in a congregate setting too long whether it is in their own home or other segregative setting, it is not good for anyone.

When getting people together, it is never about anticipation, it is all about not hesitating to be meeting people in the group you choose to be with. Meeting in groups is all about being with others who want to experience and explore together the same event or socializing experience at the exact time and at that exact moment of human experience. It does not matter whether the person is disabled or not, inclusion should be an option if the person desires to be in that group respectively as part of the community.

That is why I created my own group on the meet up website over a year ago called Neurodiverse Central Network. This is group is about hanging out with people regardless of disability and varying impairments with their allies if desired as well if they want to have them there. Members of this group respect each other regardless of disability or not, and by respecting each other, no one can make any one feel bad for what they feel or believe. The conversation is open to experiencing each other and communicating different ideas, respecting opinions as just that, opinions. That’s what nothing about us, without us, is all about.

A Poem Called “Nothing About Us”

Nothing About Us,

by theamazinJ

Everywhere we go,
everywhere we look,
We see destruction,
we see walls being built,
we see the development of institutions,
we see the lack of community building,
everywhere we go we see Donald Trump’s face
in place of the faces from the 1930’s,
where in 1927, Oliver Wendell Holmes
from the U.S. Supreme Court
finished what was started in America
where the dark history of America
helped stir the pot in Germany back then,
where even today
many people still keep in mind
what American History is really about,
keeping the rich richer,
and about building a fascist state of mind,
while The U.S. Supreme Court in 1927
from Buck Vs. Bell
secured a statement
that is still in everyone’s minds today
stirring the message over and over in their heads.
The message was clear, the message was disturbing,
and the message was concrete,
when Holmes said “Three Generations of Imbeciles were enough…”
It allowed the preconceived notion
that the medical model of disability will dominate,
it also allowed Americans
to build a war against each others
against society
and against disability
while at the same time
trying to prevent disability
and not only that,
but eventually labeling
everyone ‘high’ functioning or ‘low’ functioning,
and even establishing medical charity organizations
to this day
to use this rhetoric from Buck vs. Bell
even more than they had done before
to establish a society of sameness,
a society of perfect bodies,
a society where there would be lethal forced euthanasia,
a society where there would be eradication of certain peoples,
and a society segregating people
by class, by gender, by race, by sexuality, by ability,
and by religion.
This is the society Donald Trump wants,
this is the society that Paul Ryan hopes for,
this the society Mitch McConnell strives for
and what Mike Pence asserts every day.
We need to stop this from happening,
we need to embrace every part of humanity
every day of our lives,
with supporting each other,
and encouraging everyone
while remembering
why we are here on this planet,
and how we can rely on each other everyday for support.
Society is interdependent,
we are not finches,
we cannot take Darwin literally when he said
it’s ‘Survival of the Fittest’,
because humanity is different,
humanity is supported,
we support one another,
we support other animals,
we support other kingdoms of taxonomy,
we support the climate of this great planet,
if someone is sought out to destroy this diversity
then we need to sought out justice to the people
wanting to harm and wanting to do this,
because we need to construct
a world of love for this planet
and everything and everybody that is on it,
no one can take that away
and no one can segregate or harm another,
in the end,
its our duty to take care of one another
regardless of who or what we are,
regardless of what kinds of supports
the person needs to achieve their own self-determination,
because we cannot be influenced by
Donald Trump’s establishment or Paul Ryan’s anger or Mitch McConnell’s fury,
or even Mike Pence’s ignorance,
To be truly United,
we need to include everyone,
we need to build community,
because disability is part of the human experience,
but is also part of living organisms,
and we need to remember,
Nothing about us, without us
is Nothing about US.
Everyone supporting one another, is not controlling anyone regardless,
that’s what democracy is really about.

A Poem Called “Open at the Close”

Open at the Close,

by theamazinJ

My knowledge is useful,
my life is pure,
my feelings are genuine,
my misery is normal,
my normal is my companion,
whether I am feeling happy or not.
My trope is believable,
I am a Human being,
I am validated
because of thou
up in the heavens
looking down at us
and can live my life from all that.
I am golden,
I am not inspiration,
I lead by my own life,
by the way I am,
even after surgeries,
even after medicines,
even after accommodations,
I see too much
as sight worthy
and can see everything
from what any one is doing.
I feel difficult, different
in a marginalized life,
though, I am unforeseen,
I am open to all that is open,
I close at the open,
I open at the close,
I am a spectre
moving up and down
through the door,
seeing Gold, Gold, Gold,
remarkably open,
closed on me,
closed on you,
life is like that,
from an incredibly beautiful way to live,
regardless of what you think,
or, who you are,
life is beautiful
to all that we can say
to all that we do,
and to all that we are
because,
this life is all about
the way we see it,
the way we want to live it,
and remembering
we are open at the close
and close at the open
no matter what
and for whatever it is worth.

A Poem Called “Society Meets the Activist”

Society Meets the Activist,

by theamazinJ

One day,
a long time ago,
in a far off place,
society met an Activist,
the first of their kind.
The Activist spoke out against everything society stood for,
I mean, everything, literally everything,
Talking about society’s social construction,
talking about society’s discrimination,
even talking about society’s lack of accommodation,
and when the shit hit the fan even more,
society’s idea of passing rather than being true to ourselves.
The Activist turns 20, then 30, then 40 and so on,
and every time the Activist says something,
they are bullied into silence,
they are told they are fake,
they are told to be quiet and let society just be,
they are told to not be loud and proud,
they are told to take a vacation or just leave society for good,
everywhere the Activist goes,
he wants to make a difference,
to show the society what Human dignity means,
what Human respect means,
and the ways everyone needs accommodating,
the way society can be accessible if they even try,
A long time ago before the first of the month,
society jumped in to vote for a sloth,
a man who would fight Activists,
a man who would say the work Activists have done was fake,
a man who created the term Fake News,
a man who marked war against the world,
a man who created fights between himself and every minority group
including the disability minority group,
especially those people who think and play and move and live differently than him,
a man who is a supremacist,
a man who hates Activists, but then calls himself an Activist for doing what he does,
Activists have gotten criticism for the work they do
and even from the very first Activist a long time ago
in a galaxy far far away,
because being an Activist is tough,
being an Activist is one of the hardest things anyone can do,
Activists make societies uncomfortable,
Activists make the leader of any society go crazy,
Activists speak out and then get hashed by society,
Activists ignore society’s words,
until the Activist actually passes on,
then everyone praises the Activist who spoke out,
and a day or memorial becomes real for the Activist who passed on
to one day everyone quoting them
even when everyone fought against the Activist while alive,
even when everyone took a stand that they would never do it,
however, the Activist took a stand, and now everyone listens,
and now, everyone sees what they said,
finally in the end,
The Activist looks down upon the society from the heavens above,
noticing this change, noticing this new embodiment,
and says to oneself with all smiles and chuckling:
“Now, they listen, really, now they really are listening
really, I am astonished, I am a star up here in the heavens,
shining down on them at night, and
when I could speak, no one wanted to listen to me,
thanks a lot to all thou, thanks to all thou”
As society takes on more and more giving and less trash talk
for what the Activist said, for every action the Activist conveyed,
and for every time the Activist fought them to be heard
exactly how they Activist wanted to heard,
So, continue what you are doing,
if you believe it,
someday it will happen.
Someday they will all listen,
even if it takes a lifetime.
Believe.
And Move forward.