Just Stimming…

A land we can share (a place I can map)

your dreams will be reduced down to breathing, and you will be grateful

with 15 comments

The thing about not-being-a-person is:

They will say those people and the price of being a person is to nod and agree that yes, those people aren’t people at all.

They will have no idea who they are talking to.

You yourself will start to forget, too.

They will say a million small things that sow the seeds for violence done against you, and you will smile and let them.

You will do math, constantly.

How much do I want to be a person today? How much do I want this project to succeed? How much honesty can I afford? How much dishonesty will kill me? What is the cost of coming out? Is there a way to delay, soften, transmute? How long can I survive as half a person?

Your dreams will be reduced down to breathing.

And you will be grateful.

And no one else will know. And so it won’t be real.

You will become an expert at folding away pieces of yourself, quietly and automatically and with perfect obedience.

And you will forget that, forget all of it, forget yourself, and then come back to yourself violently as someone smiles and talks, academically or hatefully and there’s no deciding which is worse, about those people.

And you will remember that you are not a person. And you will have to decide, all over again, how much longer you can take that.

About these ads

Written by Julia

March 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm

15 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. That’s how I feel about identifying as queer and appearing (so I’m told) quite straight. There are a number of people I’m out to offline, and I’m very out online. Offline it’s a question of coming out again and again. I’m not out to some senior citizen friends, or to a friend who’s closer to my age but very religious. It’s a strain to remember to watch what I’m saying with them. Even the senior citizens know I’m gay-friendly, though. I say what I can when I feel I can afford to, and I’m not so proud of that.

    I have several invisible disabilities, some of which are more socially acceptable than others, like diabetes. That’s something I decide to talk about, too. It’s probably clear enough those times when my attention span is very limited, or when I’m having social anxiety.

    I have a very vexed relationship with passing and frequently enough not wanting to, particularly for sexual orientation. It’s a relief that I have support, particularly with a couple of GLBT groups I’m involved with. It can still be an hour by hour thing.

    Emilie

    neyronrose

    March 4, 2012 at 8:29 pm

  2. [...] your dreams will be reduced down to breathing, and you will be grateful appears here by permission. [...]

  3. Why you gotta be so eloquent about this stuff? That is all.

    chavisory

    March 5, 2012 at 11:35 am

  4. beautiful. you are a talented writer

    medusasmuse

    March 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm

  5. this is so gorgeous, and so painfully true. resonantes around my own issues with inivisible disabilities as well as other partially hidden identities. so much <3 to you.

    imli

    March 5, 2012 at 9:26 pm

  6. I always read your posts and wonder how it is possible that there aren’t like 500 comments telling you how amazing it is. So maybe I should tell you that myself instead of getting annoyed that not enough other people are. This is beautiful.

  7. This is amazingly eloquent. Thank you for posting it.

  8. Academically or hatefully…sometimes I feel I am the only one who sees this. We are so used to giving honor to academia, whether it is earned, or not. We never look at the man behind the curtain critically, although he may put us under a microscope. Time to rise up and call BS, I say.

    usethebrainsgodgiveyou

    March 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm

  9. “They will say those people and the price of being a person is to nod and agree that yes, those people aren’t people at all.

    They will have no idea who they are talking to.

    You yourself will start to forget, too.”

    Beautifully written as always, Julia.

    Lydia Brown

    March 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm

  10. Heart ache

    Hannah

    September 13, 2012 at 3:44 am

  11. [...] Your dreams will be reduced down to breathing, and you will be grateful. [...]

  12. That’s *excellent.* So clear, and so true. Thank you.

    Michele Cox (@Gramina)

    January 15, 2013 at 9:44 am

  13. The fear. The fear. So much fear.

    This week I was at a meeting for my professional program and there were pictures of people all over the wall, they thought they were positive images but they were horrifying. And most of them looked like me.

    And that made me distress-flappy, all day, in front of everyone. With the pictures on the wall of the not-quite-people who look like me and move like me and…

    …there is one person in my program I can discuss this with, and I showed her the pictures, and she understood and… knows I’m a person anyway.

    I hope that makes it possible to hold on and to break through and make more space for us. I hope so I hope so I hope so.

    josiahd42

    January 16, 2013 at 8:53 pm

  14. Have you seen the “Smother Autism” campaign?
    Evidently we don’t even get to breathe anymore, and we’re told we should be grateful when we complain about the abusive wording. As though changing the words at the request of the people they claim to help would ruin the campaign and there exists no other viable title.

    Ren Thorpe

    April 4, 2013 at 1:20 am

  15. I read this and I cried, for every person that has had to hide themselves, but especially for my sons who struggle every day in a world too narrow to appreciate their vibrant beauty.
    I wrote something about the same topic, but FAR less eloquently, so thank-you for expressing what I wanted to say, what I fear my boys feel in such a stunning manner.

    http://behindstarbursteyes.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/a-borrowed-mp3-player-sparkling-floors-and-a-heavy-heart/

    starbursteyes

    January 29, 2014 at 4:06 pm


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 729 other followers

%d bloggers like this: