Saturday, December 22, 2007

Devotees and me (closing Screw Bronze); the cage of stereotype plus a suicide!

First a message to our German speaking visitors: Männer, wer kommen, Rollstuhlmädchen zu sehen. Gehen Sie bitte weg und kommen Sie nie zurück (ja, sind Sie ein Pervert, sich geben bitte bis zur Polizei)

I think any 24 hour period where 1) I decide to close the blog Screw Bronze and in an unrelated episode 2) I decide to end my life (completely successful by the way: I’m writing from heaven, but wow! It is REALLY hot here) and 3) I have slept so much that I’ve only been up a couple hours by 9:00 pm counts as a “bad day.”

I just think the idea that Hell is hot but has great internet connections and lets you still blog is really funny (see, God put all of Heaven on Microsoft Vista and now has permanent blue screen, which God says is ‘pretty’).

Why close the blog? Because Screw Bronze (specifically the month of December) had been directly linked to a main German language devotee site and now 1/3rd of all people coming to my blog were coming from this registration locked site (which in the one open link section has “Top Ten Free Links” to places like “Crippled Women Pictures”, “Casted Beauties” and “Wheelgirls”), the BraceForum. Having a couple hundred guys coming to my blog, about one every minute, going through my pictures and blowing them up to full screen (and right-clicking to save them) made me feel more than on exhibition, it made me feel ashamed.

I know that I am “out there” as a blogger and part of that is my firm belief that I am not my wheelchair. Society may keep trying to tell me directly or by individuals actions that I am not a full female, I am sexless, I am useless. This is this social idea that girls in wheelchairs aren’t rebels (or dangerous) and I was proud that a portion of my blog was a big finger in the air to that idea. Oh, you mean able bodied people didn’t think that neruo and fatigue women might want some sex toy reviews? Or that we might shave our vagina for thongs and lap dancing and having loving pictures taken of us and our lesbian partner going off to a party (that picture was a devo favorite by the way)? That I, as I can, play air hockey and feed squirrel and do boxing; that I am more than just some tragic Little Nell figure but a real person with real feelings, fears, dreams, disappointments and joy.

But then, looking back over those pictures; looking at the pictures the devotees liked the best I realized that I was NOT this person to this stream of men (indeed not really a PERSON at all, more like a sexbot), and that there would always be some website or people who visited my blog to whom the chair and I together make up a sexual object. And that the pictures I was most proud of were also the ones which might be collected, mentally pawed over, and saved to be pulled up in a session with the hand and the tissue paper. That already, in closed Yahoo groups, my blog pictures may already been thrown into the heap (these sites often boast big numbers like: “over 1500 pictures of wheelchair ladies!”) to stay locked away. So now my year of medico’s, challenges and the need to be daring, to be recognized as something MORE than the wheelchair was part of a jumble of (Crippled Women) pictures to be thrown into a 250 pic pack available for download, swapping, sharing…all for a minimal fee. I know from the five to six male “Wheelchair users” who contacted me in the day or two after I posted the movie about me feeding the squirrels that yeah, those guys are out there (these “wheelchair guys” whose ID showed no personal picture and they only subscribed to wheelchair women and devotee youtube films - yeah, some wheelchair USER).

I thought I could keep distance, I didn’t think they would be able to get to me, to strip me into a commodity. And there I was, ashamed, thinking about those people out there, who WANT and NEED women like me to be in wheelchairs. Devotees and Wannabes don’t want a medical OR a social model solution; they like all the meaning and the stigma and the social context that the west has piled onto wheelchairs (and amputations). Because if we are socially integrated or we find ANOTHER mobility device (try to remember, that in the end a wheelchair is ONLY a mobility device) then what will these groups and people do? But I just didn’t want it anymore; I didn’t want to see the world and to see me through the eyes of these people anymore. I didn’t want to look at a picture of Linda and me dressed up for the party and instead of just being happy or a proud feeling that it was in any way sordid or enabling of the dehumanizing of me, or us.

My feelings toward that whole devotee/wannabe spectrum are pretty defined at this moment. While all of us have “types” we are attracted to, we don’t let that dictate our lives. I myself love the look of red headed women with pale skin but I am married to a dirty blonde who was tanned when I met her. She was the right person; because she was a person, not a type, not a fetish. And when the fetish gets to the point that the person is no longer important except in terms of aesthetic value, then not only are you (often) reinforcing stereotype but in the case of women with disabilities, trying to lock them forever in a personal and societal cage. May I quote from a magazine reviewers review of the zine “Humping Stumps”: “I became torn between feeling sad for how consumed he was with his obsession and being digusted by the how far he would go for the promise of pleasure….He tells a story of someone else from a 3rd party perspective, except that he is IN the story. It gives me such an uncomfortable feeling that my skin crawls. It’s some real Jeffrey Dahmer John Wayne Gacy style storytelling.”

This appeal to the sexual fetish of women in wheelchairs (and amputees) and stereotype caging extends to my disgust of the wheelchair maker Colours in Motion. They “assembled” a “First Ever” dance troupe made up of two female models (and ex-cheerleaders: who could have guessed!) who even though radically different in height have adjusted chairs so they are the same same height in their chairs. They also have the same length long hair (the movement of the long hair is even part of their ‘dance’ routine). Colours had advertised itself as the wheelchair company for people who wanted to break the mold; but apparently there is a “beautiful and able bodied looking” bar that needs to be passed first. Because that is what the public face of Colours is; their image isn’t about disability or diversity, it is “We are just as hot and sexy as we used to be….we’re just sitting down!”
And so my message to Colours in Motion is that you are a devotee site that makes wheelchairs (or more succinctly “Fuck You!”) and I will continue to see you as such until you start showing us some of the genuine diversity of people who use your chairs. Using hot skaters and hot looking girls to make a cool dance club works and I guess Colours in Motion thinks it will work for them too (by the way Colours, think! You just put up Victor Konovalov, as your 'new member' of “Team Motion” who is a body builder and talks about the time he was in a wheelchair and NOT looking like a body builder as “I was ashamed of myself and what had become of me….I could see the pain in my parents eyes” and then goes on to talk about how because he was in a wheelchair women looked the other way SO, he made himself BUFF, and now they love him (or maybe gay guys do…he is really buff!)). This is the picture Colours in Motion have on the “groups for people with disabilities we are teamed with” webpage. Hey people with disabilities, this is what you are supposed to look like: Colours in Motion seems to be creating a NEW stereotype; that there are cool disabled people (and also then the ugly, disgusting, disturbing, etc people with disabilities); and picking out those worth knowing or talking to (According to Colours in Motion) is the exact same method used by devotees. You just take a look: Beautiful, or looking AB or Buff then "cool" group; not looking beautiful or perfect, then 'the other group' aka 'Short Bus.' By the by, I did try have a Colours chair shipped in to try when buying my wheelchair but it just wasn’t up to the task, the frame and components didn’t have the rigidity and precision I needed when high pounds per inch were applied (like cornering, fast accelerations, etc).

So guys, want to get to know me, then stop pretending you are in a wheelchair, and stop emailing me questions about catheters and crap like that; tell me about yourself, I’ll tell you about myself – that’s how it is done you fixated fetish freaks. So no, after a day I decided not to pull the plug because yes, at times (like weekends) there are more literal “wack jobs” devotees that may come to Screw Bronze than people who want to learn about vibrators, or fatigue, or MSA or wheelchair boxing or Shy-Dragers. But they don’t run my life and they don’t tell me what to do or write and once they do, then the cage they want me inside of has slammed shut. (insert pictures of me giving the various rude finger gestures of the world)

Regarding my suicidal actions. I tried a new “pain pill” last night which was supposed to reduce my pain without getting me addicted which is what Morphine does (so they say). It is called Apo-Amitriptyline and if there was a side effect in the “If you get this call your doctor immediately” column, I got it. My sleep to waking ratio today is 13-14 hours sleep to 5 hours awake. And I am taking coke (the one you drink, not the one that goes up the nose) just to stay awake. This morning my blood pressure was so low (for over an hour) that I don’t know how I was still sitting upright AND I had erratic heartbeats. I was too weak to move unassisted and later too weak to even move the blankets on my bed off my chest. I was dizzy and falling over; I fell twice due to passing out due to hypotension. I had a “black mood” similar to when my GP two GP's ago decided to take me off all my anti-depressant and anti-bipolar medication “just to see what happens.” (Gee, what do you THINK might happen doc?) Only this black mood was even more intense and severe and I stopped talking almost immediately, and then I stopped noticing other people, and then I started going the wrong way down the car lane accelerating my wheelchair into the path of the car swerving to avoid me. Then I stripped to my bra outside in the dusk, with near zero temperature and wind and played Russian Roulette with the chair (push down an incline, put your hands in lap and wait to see if I hit something at speed and get thrown on my head). Linda ended up restraining me in a hold until I kinda passed out (Darn you Linda and your able bodied strength). Then she got me home and in bed somehow (I wasn’t ‘there’ so I don’t know how). Turns out that part of the warning for this drug was REMOVED, and that if you go to the US Library of Medicine Amitriptyline has this BIG RED WARNING at the top which says that in studies, it found that young adults who take anti-depressants may become suicidal. It states “even if you are an adult over age 24. You may become suicidal, especially at the beginning of your treatment”. Because it seems we are TRYING to create an imbalance in the brain chemistry, an imbalance which blocks some types of pain for some people.

Right now I am like, Hmmmm, I think I want morphine because, addiction be damned, I am pretty sure morphine won’t make me sleep 75% of the time and then make me push my wheelchair in front of cars the few hours I am up. Just a thought. Because I was under the impression that the pain killer was to clear my head and enable me to live a better life. Staring into space, attempting suicide, crying and the rest of the time sleeping doesn’t SEEM like a “better life” to me; what do you think?

So that was Friday and Saturday. Right now I am drinking liquids like a mad woman to try and flush this evil, evil drug out of my system. I mean, yes, being dead is, in a way, a “pain killer” but really, there must be better solutions. Hey, (unrelated shout) I WANT my time back!

So that’s it, here I am back at ground Zero, at the bottom of the hole. And while they say “at least it is all up from here” why is it I am only equipped with a shovel?

40 comments:

tornwordo said...

I can't believe there is a magazine called Humping stumps. Here's hoping today goes better.

Marla said...

Well, I am glad that you have decided not to close your blog. I certainly do understand your concerns.

I so wish they would find a decent pain pill for you. The one you describe sounds like it sure did not work! How terrifying! Good thing Linda was able to help you home.

Elizabeth said...

Elizabeth - I, um, wow.

I really don't....that German site....know what to say. I've written a comment paragraph out at least five times here and erased it every time. I'm down to: "Seriously?" and "Screw them".

Med is easier to comment on. Stupid doctors!

And, thank god for Linda.

None of this is articulate but it is heartfelt.

hugs, E

Devi said...

Since I am from Germany, I just wanted to say that I'm not one of *those* visitors, so there's no need to worry when you see my IP, okay? I just read your blog because I'm interested in what you have to say, squirrel stories and all (sounds lame, but I can't think of a better way of saying it). Probably should have commented earlier instead of just lurking, but I'm not always good at coming up with comments.

zara said...

You had me going there, I really was afraid you had decided to close down Screw Bronze! and, selfishly, I thought "NO !!"

But I understand the impulse. I imagine that most of us have euh, readers we would prefer not to have. Ironically, most of my traffic comes from guys looking for photos of naked amputated women, even though there are no photos on blog and certainly not of naked amputees. But because I wrote an article on the subject of a photo I posted on flickr a few months ago (that did not depict a naked amputee either, just want to make that clear), people show up on blog hoping to find some anyway. At first, I found the whole thing kind of depressing and disappointing (and at times still do). But then I thought, fuck 'em. These people are sick and I will be damned if I let them dictate my choices. I have however disallowed trackbacks on my blog so as to, at the very least, not give them free publicity. I will say though that I have been amazed at the amount of people looking for naked amputated women. It boggles the mind. Anyway, I am glad you have decided to stay, your contributions are so important.

As for the painkiller stuff, I think that the medical establishment, just like the rest of society, is much too rigid in its conception of what is acceptable but then, that is hardly surprising. But I mean, we are not talking about a heroin fiend, we are talking about someone in genuine pain. Could this someone become addicted ? Maybe but what is more important ? Alleviating pain and enabling them to function or no, no, no, gawd forbid they should become addicted so let us give them crap that does not help and may actually hurt instead ? What a bunch of fools. I know it is tiring but I hope you get through to them.

Warm wishes from Montréal :)

V said...

Hiya!

I'm Veronica and I run the blog mag.nificent, from which you quoted my review of an amputee zine.

I've checked out your blog and it's great! I love your writing and actually your boxing pics and stories have completely inspired me, an able-bodied girl. I've been interested in trying boxing forever but always thought "everyone will laugh at me at a class, I'm out of shape and slow"....but you know what, fuck them!

But back to the devotees. It's amazing to me the sheer amount of incoming traffic and searches dealing with "amputee women" etc that lead to my site. I'm looking at my stats right now and of the 15 most recent viewings to my site from this mornings (past 3 hours) 10 of the 15 viewed the "Humping Stumps" article. From the past 72 hours, in which 1,576 people viewed my site, over half, 853 hits, went to that article.

I also came across a more-than-slightly-disturbing convention that apparently, and I'm a bit aghast at, occurs right in my city of Chicago. It is a convention called "Fascination" wherein devotee men interested in amputee women pay their full expenses to come to this convention. Info and mention on the internet was scant...but I did find a mailing address via Dan Savage's sex column:
Amputee fans can write Fascination at P.O. Box 34265, Chicago, IL 60634

Keep doing what you are doing!

Cheers!

Veronica in Chicago

Gaina said...

There's something ironic about feeling the equality of body facism for me. I know that while some may find my disability hard to witness, there's some poor cow who's able bodied and bordering on anorexic feeling the same pressure. Yay equality! (I hope you can smell the sarcasm in that last sentence).

As for your photographs, well quite frankly if some sad git wants to waste his day locked in his room wanking over them then he's the one with the problem. You have your memories, the context in which those photos were taken for YOU can never be taken away. He should be so lucky to have photographs taken with a loving partner like you have.

As for the men? Well, when I'm 'buzzed' by someone with a dubious screen name, I find that 'Hello, I'm Gaina and you have exactly 10 seconds to tell me why I shouldn't eat you alive' usually sorts the wheat from the chaff! :P

Forgive me if I've mentioned this before but have you tried or considered acupuncture for pain management? The medical profession accepts that it does work now because tests have been carried out under laboratory conditions where people with chronic persistant pain were given acupuncture treatments whilst connected to brain scanning equipment and their reports of relief co-incided with less activity in the area of the brain responsible for pain signals and an increased activity in the area responsible for release pain killing chemicals.

I don't know why they can't just give you the damn morphine, it's not like you're hurting anyone else by taking it but if you want to explore acupuncture, then try this link

http://www.ctcma.bc.ca

They should be able to help you find a practitioner in your area.

...now give me that shovel and start your ascent :P

xxx

Lene Andersen said...

"Noooooooooooo!!" was my first thought when you said you were going to close - I've just found you and didn't want to lose readimg your words, which so often say what I'm thinking, not to mention push me to think. So I'm glad you're not, Humping Stumps and all (ick).

As for the addition. I am forever stunned by the idiot medical professionals who are concerned about addiction in cases of chronic pain. Because what we might get addicted to is LIVING OUR LIVES, not the drug as such. Using that ananlogy, you could say I'm addicted to Humira. And my wheelchair, for that matter. Blithering morons...

V said...

to tornwordo and to clarify:

The magazine is not called "Humping Stumps". "Humping Stumps" is just the title I gave my article, taken from an article title in Hustler Magazine of the same name from years ago which basically was the first major public press to out this "Devotee" community.

The publication I wrote about did not really have a title...and I should clarify it definitely is not a magazine of any circulation that you could find anywhere else.

It is really more a collection of drawings, photocopied and stapled, and sold at a local bookstore where people can sell their self-published work. Just a look at its sad little cover and crude drawings eminates the loneliness that the author must feel.

The author actually has several volumes, each one deal with a different type of amputee "quads", "Armless" etc. I have no clue where he gets access to all these women. He writes as though he has interacted with them firsthand, but I have a feeling that perhaps, the majority of the women are just pictures on the internet to which he has given a first-person narrative.

As the author is from my city, he actually found me after I published this article. He tracked me down via myspace, which honestly creeped me out quite a bit as I have no links to anything personal on my blog, so I'm not sure how he found me on there. He was none too happy with my review, accusing me of slander. The article was initially longer, containing a section where I spoke with a store employee who had met the author on several occasions. The employee described to me how they had a regular customer, a girl, who was missing an arm, and how this guy would follow her and harass her around town.

From the experiences with this author I have had, and research into this topic, the life of the devotee seems to be a lonely one, shrouded in mystery and obsession.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Tornwordo: Turns out it isn't called that - but I bet there IS one out there. Yeah, turns out what rash action you do in depression on one day you pay for on the next - so OW!

Marla: I got a sort of devo overload, and had my, "They're not going to touch what I built, I'll burn it first!" moment. I wish they had a decent one too - apparently morphine can make you hallucinate so that might be an interesting time too!

Elizabeth: Yeah, truth be told, I am sort of just Dessert or a side dish since the site seems REALLY into women in casts or braces. Makes me wish someone would write a book: "Women are from Venus and Men are from orbiting moons that are stalking them" - no, I know all guys aren't like that, some love thier X-boxes instead. hee hee.

Meds - well, that was a particularly horrid reaction so I can't expect a doctor to have known that to happen - what I can't understand is how my blood pressure - which vastly fluxuated because of MSA could be supressed into hypotension by amitryp. And yeah, thank god for Linda.

Devi: Yeah, sorry, I know I have very nice and kind German readers it is just becuase the site linked to my December archives instead of to an individual post, I knew that the first thing they would see on redirection (there is even a redirection page in German saying that BraceForum is not responsible for the content on the site, etc) was this German statement (hopefully not TOO bad german) telling them not to come here and turn themselves into the police. As soon as I put that up, the length of stay dropped from 18-30 minutes to an average of 33 seconds (guess they are paranoid enough to believe I am going to turn over thier IP or something). Still, it felt good. But I do appreciate you coming and taking the time to read my LONG posts (usually 1200-2000 words on average).

Zara: Yeah, I am actually used to the weekend traffic of sex searches, it was this onslaught of devos from one site that sort of pushed me over the edge (not that it was a long fall...if you know what I mean). And I will say that from what I have read, amputation devotees are WAY more aggressive than wheelchair girl devotees - which is why they claim that taking pictures of women with amputations without their consent is thier "right" since like celebrities, the amputation they are obsessed over might be so rare that when they see a WOMAN WITH IT, they HAVE to follow her, they NEED to photograph her, she is like a PUBLIC RESOURCE. (Shudder) Only, she isn't - she's a human being. I'm kinda glad I stayed to blog it is just that now, because I wrote about devotees, I am going to get SO much emails from pissed off devotees (and maybe Colours in Motion - the irony is, that the devo from Germany and Austria who stay, are all clicking on the Colours in Motion "Dance Team" - so I guess Colours know their audience)

My GP, because other GP's wouldn't take me, works in the drug clinic for street people. So I think there is more pressure on him NOT to be getting people addicted to Morphine, etc. On the other hand, if he plans on taking me though the grand tour of random tri-cyclics, I think we will cut that short and look at some other alternatives. Ironically, it did reduce the pain, though that might be because I was so depressed that my pain was interpreted in a different way - however, I feel that Amitriptyline is like the really bad party guest who trashes your place and the next day guess who has to live with it/clean it up?

V: Thanks for coming by, I am guessing you probably have to check the trackbacks from the article a lot. I just appreciated that a) it wasn't just ME that felt that sort of INSERTING of THEM into your life and b) what you said summed up how I was feeling and a good example of devo viewpoint.

As for boxing, I agree - fuck em! If you stick with it, you will really enjoy it I think - also there may be Kickboxing for Women classes or Areobic Boxing for Women class - both of which are less judgemental - I am fortunate that some nights there are 11 females and like 2 guys - the nights it is 9 guys and 3 females has quite a different atmosphere (and a lot more grunting).

I'm not so excited on advertising and amputee convention but......well, devos just take the address and leave. I know it must be frustrating to do your blogging and then look at the stats and realize that if you just reviewed devo zines you could probably be a pay-per-view site!

Elizabeth McClung said...

Gaina: I guess the idea of internet and personal property is conflicted in me - I recognize that people come to my site and disagree with me and can write about how much they disagree with me and how stupid and thick I am - I get that, that is a sort of intellectual debate of which I am familiar from academia (though we tend to use "misguided" instead of 'stupid' and "under-researched" instead of 'thick'). But the collection of photos and films for other uses - on the one hand I recognize that I put them in the public domain but emotionally I still feel they are MINE. And when it isn't someone like a friend saying, "That's a cool pic, can I borrow it" (like if a pic of me showed up on another site about something - I woudld be okay about that - unless it was devo), that is one thing, when it is 300 guys in 6 hours ransacking the place, it feels a little different, more violation.

I should definately come up with a comeback line because I have been sucked in a few times and actually written to some "authentic" looking ones and always gotten back; "That's really cool, I think you are a super person; tell me more about what you do day to day" - which then confirms, yup, you've been had, particularly if I sent them a message on how I get tired of how my 4 inch casters are flipping me out of the chair all the time. Ironically, while you were posting your comment, ANOTHER devo fan subscribed to my youtube films. Joy!

I've tried acupressure and pressure point which made me pass out, and still might try some sort of massage therapy but not acupuncture yet (that whole needles sticking out of me thing)

Lene: thanks, I felt for a while like I was just some sort of devotee enabler and that is all I would be which made me thing, what is the point. But that just happens to be the cost of being out there and taking pictures so people can see that this a REAL person doing this REAL things. Yeah, I think I am addicted to my oxygen and wheelchair too! I am sure my GP will find a solution that works (I hope) - or I can just buy two streets down for about $20 a baggie (Oh wait, I Think that is Heroin, not morphine)

V: Thanks for the history, as it is, of devotee coverage in magazines. As for the author, that is pretty damn creepy the way he came after you (I mean, he did leave his work to be sold and you did buy it and you are entitled to review it - you would think he would be happy!) And his following is classic devo behavoir, like the way wheelchair devos will park most of the day near a place like a library where they can watch the people use the wheelchair spaces and then watch them transfer in and out (that info came from a person who had BIID and was showing how BIID people are DIFFERENT from Devotees because devotees fall into X number of catagories and these are the types of behavoir.....etc)

The thing I really don't understand is why, if these people feel they have a genuine sexual state do they ACT like pedophiles, with they "closed" sites and circle sites (needing a referral or a certain number of pictures to enter), or hoard pictures, or pretend to be someone they are not for access to a person online or take secret photos and footage (just look up 'wheelchair female' or 'wheelchair girl' on youtube and you will see how much of it is taken without the woman's consent or knowledge for passing around in devo circles). So yeah, lonely, obsessed and having feelings that are already so developed for a person they don't know that it would be very difficult for anyone to meet them.

Katrin said...

Like others one of my 1st thoughts when I read the title of the post was "NO! This is one of my few enjoyable daily reads!" But jeeze, people actually come here on those searches?! UGH! I really have to figure out how to run a 'reverese look up' to find out who gets to my blog through wack-job phrases on google. If I was getting feed back like you have been, I'd turn off the computer faster than drop a hot potato! (which isn't very fast though as I don't feel that it is hot until I'm already burned a bit, guess that isn't a good analogy)

Amitryip is a nasty, nasty, evil drug! I was on it once, not pleasant stuff happened. And the fibro doc I've been sent to and have an appy with at the end of Jan, basically that's the drug he swears by. I am not looking forward to battling with him over my refusing to take it again!

If I were you, I'd go for the morphine!

Good luck! Glad you have decided to not close down shop in any respects quite yet.

Zephyr said...

I didn't know that stuff about amitryptalline. I take it for insomnia, and it's a godsend, but I had no idea it could send one into suicidal depression! Good to know.

I'm really happy you didn't close the blog. It's mind-bloggling to know there are so many disrespectful people out there using your photos without permission. Assholes.

mental mosaic said...

That's the thing... no matter how you look or feel, you have no control over how others perceive you.

Pervs will look at you and think something pervy - it's a reflection of them.

But don't forget that nice (for lack of a better word) people will look at you and think nice things.

I'm chronically cheerful and have a habit of walking around with a grin. When someone smiles back at me, I tend to think, 'Hey, they're happy, too!' But really, what do I know? They could be thinking anything.

I remember once as a barista, smiling at a guy, who smiled back. We exchanged some banter, and he seemed pretty nice. He then stuffed a bill and a piece of paper in my tip jar before leaving. The paper read, 'Nice ass, do you do anal?' which was apropos to nothing we had chatted about.

When I read your blog and look at your photos, I think you write well, express yourself well, and have a wonderful, loving relationship.

I hope you can flush that icky drug out of your system fast. Why are they so freaked about Morphine? I know someone in chronic pain who takes Methadone, and probably will for the rest of her life. At this point, it doesn't make her high, it just lets her closer to normal.

kathz said...

I only got back today after a couple of days away and was shocked when I read the heading and thought you were (a) having a really bad time and (b0 thinking of closing your blog. I'm glad you've decided to keep going.

If you think the morphine is what helps, you probably know best. Could you persuade then that you need the experience because of your interest in C19th literature? After all, many of the writers of the period were effectively addicted to laudanum, weren't they? You could perhaps present it as a conbination of pain/symptom relief and academic investigation?

Very best wishes to you bothm as always.

Raccoon said...

At a party last night, I mentioned your blog to a friend of mine who was commenting about pain after a surgery...

I'm glad that you're not giving up the blog. I enjoy reading about your adventures & thoughts. The boxing & the squirrels, getting to the video store...

I'm not from Germany; I'm from California. Okay, I'm a male. But I'm also in a wheelchair, myself. Because of that, I don't need to ask you stupid questions about catheters. I pay more attention to "how do you get around in the snow" and "how long did it take the squirrels to get used to you..."

Raccoon

Dave Hingsburger said...

Good God I love your writing. I'm in love with you and I'm a gay man ... not sure how that fits in with the fetish thing but I'm sure it'll fire the imagination of the warped. I shivered at the thought of no more 'screw bronze' as I visit here for a dose of reality (as you pointed out once I'm a tad 'upbeat'). I know about the visitor thing, I get searches all the time for 'fat legs' 'fat panties' 'fat girls doing it' and then they come and find my blog. I get a giggle out of imagining them getting all hard at the idea and then Chewing the Fat pops onto the screen. Funny. Glad you are still here on the web and even gladder you are still here in the world.

zara said...

You know, I have not really looked into the whole amputee devotee scene because, as my sister would say, TMI !, so I am not very knowledgeable with regards to their motivations or, perhaps more accurately, rationalisations and pretexts. But reading your reply to my comment, I have to say I am disturbed and dismayed by the idea that they can justify their behaviour by considering us celebrities and novelty items. I try not to judge anyone, I am certainly in no position to do so, but ironically I value my privacy and MY ABSOLUTE RIGHT to not be what can be likened to a circus animal for whomever, whether it be devotees, the medical establishment or the average Joe. Ok, I admit that nowadays, this may be like pissing in the digital wind but I will hold on to this right regardless. And I respectfully submit that by talking about it, by denouncing it even, like through your post today, contributes to letting the world know that it is not ok.

April said...

Hello, Elizabeth. I'm hoping you don't mind me posting given what's been going on with your influx of psycho freeloaders (by the way, posting a photograph to the Internet doesn't put it into the public domain, it merely publishes it - you can still enforce copyright if you want to).

I'm mainly posting about Amitriptyline and Morphine, both of which I have first-hand experience with because of my own problems. I'm surprised you weren't warned about the cardiovascular side-effects of amitriptyline since they're very well documented and happen quite a lot. I was prescribed it for insomnia but I was off it after a couple of weeks because it caused low blood pressure and exacerbated my arrhythmia.

I tried morphine but its side-effects are just as horrible; causing halucinations and nausea. I decided pain was the better option in the end, since at least I could spend the day not being spaced out. Your experience may differ, of course; the side-effects don't happen to everyone.

Anyway, that's all I really came to say. As a last point, the person with BIID who sat around watching people going in and out of the library: that's not BIID behaviour, that's nutty psycho stalker behaviour and attempts to pass it off as anything else are just lies and self-delusion.

saraarts said...

Holy crap on a biscuit! That is some crazy rollercoaster for a mere 24 hours!

I am very, very sad that YOU should feel shame in response to evidence of other people's sickness. I daresay this is just more proof that women are conditioned to accept both objectification AND blame for all the ills of the world, and I am terribly terribly sorry to hear how much pain it causes you. Me, I just get enraged. I also feel that the very best way to deal with these poor sick fucks is to ignore them completely. It's not always easy, but at the very least, I never ever allow myself to see myself or anyone else as they do, as mere objects.

I have said it before and I will say it again: every picture of a human being is pornography for someone. You can let this knowledge silence you, or you can keep doing what you're doing for the sake of the good it does you and others, even if you never know how many other lives you touch in a useful and positive way, even if it seems sometimes like the horny creeps are the majority of your visitors.

As for the suicide thing, thank you, Linda, for another great save. And, wow, my sympathies to both of you. I hope the coming week will be more tranquil.

cheryl g. said...

I am glad you are still blogging in spite of the creepy fetishists.

Amitryptiline is bad news for anyone who is bipolar or suffers from depression. I was put on it and took it for just one dose. The side effects were pretty close to what you experienced. After that the medicos opted for demerol which worked much better.

I hope they take the psychotropic side effects into consideration next time they try something new. Here's hoping they find something that will work.

Lisa Harney said...

You had me worried for a minute with the title, but I am glad you're sticking around. Many sympathies on the devotees - they can descend into levels of pure creepiness, whatever they're devoteeing to (I've had a few tranny chasers in the past, yay). Your German made me laugh - not the grammar, the content.

Also, on the pain med and the suicidal ideation - ugh. I (again) had a similar (yet nowhere near as strong) experience with paxil, except it was "if you don't take it for one day, you might experience suicidal thoughts" and the warning was not included with my prescription. Due to changing doctors, I'd ended up unable to renew my prescription long enough that I went without for a day...and that day was pretty hellish.

Anyway, drugs that mess with your neurochemistry have to be explicit - they have to tell you this stuff, and have to know about it before they give it to you. It's just...ick.

Tell them to give you the gorram morphine already.

Lisa Harney said...

Dave,

I know about the visitor thing, I get searches all the time for 'fat legs' 'fat panties' 'fat girls doing it' and then they come and find my blog. I get a giggle out of imagining them getting all hard at the idea and then Chewing the Fat pops onto the screen.

Best internet search result ever. :)

The Goldfish said...

Quick note to say ditto to what everyone else said. I'm very sorry, and very relieved you're sticking around.

Also, re painmeds; for people with severe chronic pain, especially as it looks terminal (but it wouldn't matter if you had decades of this), addiction should be a very small concern next to taking away this kind of suffering. If you were borderline coping, you might hold off it for a while yet, but I can't see why - unless you're expecting a massive remission any time soon - long-term addiction is a significant concern next to putting an end to this level of suffering.

I realise there may be concerns I'm not aware of, and as April says morphine can be pretty gruesome, but I'm just saying in case it is in any way a useful perspective.

Thinking of you.

Daisy said...

Can I ask why devoteeism is any different than preferring women for being thin or young or blond or whatever? Except that one desire is acceptable and one is not? One is mainstream and one is not?

Why do you feel ashamed for being found attractive? I admit, I don't get that.

I find you attractive, too, Elizabeth. I have also blown up photos of you. (Admittedly, I haven't saved them, though)... Does that bother you? Is it somehow different because you have read my blog, and know I am female?

I tried to email you, as you know, but that didn't work out...if you wanna try again, I will send back another email address that might work better? OTOH, we could have this conversation right out in the open and it might prove pretty fascinating. Ain't skeered! I'm finally ready for it. (I think.)

I am puzzled that you accept the fact that devotee = bad, without any deeper interrogation of that fact. If you think it's wrong to be attracted to ANY physical quality posessed by ANY person, well, okay, point taken. But you seem to be saying that someone finding a disability attractive is somehow specifically wrong, immoral or exploitive. Is it the STYLE (i.e. "humping stumps"--rather crude) that offends you? If the attraction was expressed in a "nicer" manner (romantically?), would that be more acceptable?

Why?

(((takes deep breaths, considers not sending, decides to go ahead)))

elizabeth said...

I'm also glad you arent' going away because of a bunch of demented assholes. It takes all kinds.

Philip. said...

Happy Christmas to you :-)

Yoga Korunta said...

Elizabeth, we all lose if you die. I am sorrowed to read of the demented audience Screw Bronze! has attracted. Please write if I may do anything for you.

Tom P. said...

Michel was on Amitriptyline and it made her very sleepy and hungry all the time. She put on 30 lbs before she finally gave up on it. It did relieve her pain but she figured if she stayed on it she would have inflated until she exploded.

I have nothing to say about the German site except I wish I could have gone through life without knowing that those kind of people existed. And I am very glad that you aren't letting those assholes shut you down.

Finally Merry Christmas to you and Linda. Peace.

Linz said...

Keep on blogging: I'm loving your writing! I tagged you in a meme challenge: http://linzworld.wordpress.com/2007/12/24/meme-tag-challenge/

Elizabeth McClung said...

Sorry I was AWOL, I had a slight work/obsession issue which is finally resolved (and after spending 10 hours in one day on a job I then refused payment because after all I had gone through it seemed obscene - see if that makes sense to you - I'm not sure about me.)

Katrin: I like the hot potato analogy since I have sensation problems to so I am like, "Is that hot? Oh...um....Ow!" Yeah, I have been told by another doctor that it is a 50/50% drug, for 50% of people it works great, for the other 50% - not so great (or terrible!). I want to push him for some other options, at least 2 - not just this one at a time until we find what reaction I have.

Zephyr: Like I found out, for insomnia, some people can take it for years/decades and it works wonders. I would happily give you the devos if you want them - this is after all a CAST and BRACE primary devo site and I think since you are so good with rope you could probably handle the ones I can't. Still yeah, not really respecting me as a.....human.

Mental Mosaic: The thing about how people look at you is a really good point and your story made me laugh on a day that I didn't think I would because it just so......typical. Fact is, I am fine with people who want to fall in love, in lust, in some minimal obsession, I just don't want to be passed around like the village bicycle, ya know! And I am with you with getting a different drug, but now have to wait two weeks for all the doctors to return.

Kathz: It is interesting because after your comment I remembered that Wilkie Collins one of the most respected and productive Victorian Writers had such a high level of laudanum that an assistant who decided to take just one of Collin's doses died of overdose - he was in pain from several conditions but wrote right up until he died, but on a trip to "The continent" I think his assistants took 1/4 of ALL the laudanum available in a capital city as it was what he needed just for the train trip back. Best wishes to you to.

Racoon: Thanks, I'm glad I didn't give into that impulse (my grief and feelings of shame or violation tend toward "Burn it all! Then salt the earth!")

As for the snow, I am looking forward to that, I asked a guy from Seattle which gloves he uses. I think because wheelchairs can lock still and you don't move and smell a lot like earth (the wheels) squirrels tend to like my wheelchair - that is my theory, or I am exuding some pheremone which turns on male squirrels. Like I said, I have problem with males just ones that send me notes with letters cut out of newspapers and magazines.

Dave Hingsburger: Well, you are the one guy that Linda and I REALLY want to meet, so let's see if you can come up with a conference somewhere and I will write a paper. I envy your ability to be positive in all circumstances. I think if you posted pics you would have a "fan club" by now. Thanks - turns out when wheelchair takes on car, this time, wheelchair wins!

Zara: Yeah, TMI, you kind of get brain-fried for a bit. There was a good article done in the NEw Yorker a couple years ago about the privacy issue as a successful female lawyer who had an amputation found herself in one of these "picture packs" with an old and she says not so flattering picture and though she confronted the seller of the pack, he refused to remove her; he said it was too profitable and her tough luck. Grrrrrr. I told Linda, "Well, at least when we visit Munich next time and I see guys recognize me, we will know where they do their internet surfing"

April: Yes, but enforcing copyright is very difficult, and there was a good piece in Harpers about internet as "art usage" in changing the meaning of photos so they aren't infringing. Yes, I was VERY suprised that I had such a bad reaction (two straight days of erratics - which is like those horror films where the evil thing reaches into your chest and squeezes your chest - but not for 10 seconds, but hours). I've heard the problems of Morphine but I am determined to find something while I can still sort of stand the pain on Tramadol.

Oh, I think that BIID person was trying to say that WASN'T BIID behavoir but rather devotee behavior which I found out personally later when a person started parking and watching me and taking pics in my neighborhood.

Sara: Yeah, the shame thing, I think I do carry a few voices in my head which I can repress but love to pop up at times like this (usually with a "Told you so...you slut.") And that is what drives me nuts the whole "Look, I am NOT an object!" helpless feeling.

The horny creeps only really come out on weekends, when they are up to 3/4ths of my visitors (sigh) but hey, once you've had your 10,000th search for "boys under age 10 to rape" and they end up clicking on YOUR site that sort of just gets to a "gee, there are a lot of weirdos out there" level. Ditto on Linda's save

Elizabeth McClung said...

Cheryl G: Thanks, what I don't get is that when you read the warnings it seems that amitryptiline isn't good for a lot of people but I guess when it works it works well - on my pharmacist package there was a line saying: "If you have these conditions and have STILL been prescribed amitryptiline then be assured that your doctor will have weighed the potential benefits against negative outcomes." - REALLY? Are you SURE? Hmmmm, Demerol, I will add that to the "possible" list.

Lisa: Yeah, Devotees, I had tall fetish followers before but they never had the sort of wierd underground network these people seem to have - nothing as fun as someone not even needing your name to obsess on you huh? I am sorry you had to deal with that.

AS for the drugs, it was odd because in 3-4 hours I acted out every 'death/destruction' fantasy I had thought over two years. Yeah, even one day is MORE than enough - I always think doctors should have to experience the same side effects, then they might be a bit more careful.

Goldfish: No, that is the thing, every single specialist is on board and the question is: which of three autonomic failure is it - each has a different life span but no one is saying, "Gee, hang on a while and we will get that all fixed up." The problem is that everyone wants to pass the buck and it is the poor GP who is left trying to assess and find solutions - and not many GP's start with you in October and are giving you Morphine in December.

I'm always thinking of you too - with admiration and respect - I don't know if that comes through in my comments - I comment when I like how a person thinks.

Daisy: I like to see myself as "sex friendly" in attitudes and myself I accept that people have types and if someone has an online crush on me, fine and good - it is all the human condition. However, one devotee, as an intro sent me an email with a picture of his penis - is that appropriate.

I don't have problems with people having picture of me, heck I'll SEND you pictures of me and I have many online friends I email which have contacted me through the blog. But there is a line of behavoir - this blog isn't a place where you come to reap a harvest of pics to add to your fetish file? For example, lots of guys talk to me in person, some devotees and some are quite low key (though I do have to wonder if I am a "person" to them); however another stood inappropriately close to me, when I told him I needed to go, stood in the pavement so I could not and then took pictures of me without my consent because he felt that our "relationship" was coming to an end. What relationship?

When the devotees came to my site I thought they would click on the lap dance picture - they didn't, because I wasn't in a wheelchair, they only wanted the ones of me in the chair - without the wheelchair; I the HUMAN BEING, wasn't attractive. Which is why the title of "Humping Stumps" because the guys involved aren't having a relationship with a female named June or Jennifer, they have already fetished her amputation to a level that her as a person gets in the way of that fantasy, that literally every action is taken to get close to the object of desire (the "stump" not the person).

I am used to this because I have fetishized for being tall when I was AB - fine, you are attracted to tall women; I don't care if you are male or female, I have had some pleasant half hour or hour chats with people interested/attracted to the "tall women" thing. Okay. But I have also been chased and had to seek protection from guys who simply wouldn't take no because, "My God, you are So TALL." or say thing like, "I bet you could lift me up and I couldn't do anything about it." and you are going, "Err, I have no idea, I don't think about it." and they go, "I bet if I tried on your jeans, I'd disappear! Stand up, stand up, look how much you LOOM over me." - Now does that seem appropriate? Self named devotees each have a type and often join with groups to share pictures and encounters and fantasies with "that type" - all which require some sort of accident and an idea - for wheelchairs, of helplessness and some odd femininity and struggle - I have had guys get wood standing watching me in my wheelchair straining to push up a hill. That wasn't acceptable in junior high, and while I am all for sexual freedom, that isn't being attractive, that some guy with a fetish seeing what he has dreamed about coming to place in real life. I'm not a blow up doll, I'm not a sexbot and I don't like being viewed as one. Buy me a drink, talk to me, email me but treat me as human.

It hope that answered the question? It is a valid question and people who haven't dealt with stalkers or the like a lot find it hard to understand - but every abuser will tell you they love the person they are beating. Still not appropriate behavoir. Also because there is this idea that there is no such thing as inappropriate conduct on the internet - well, you follow me in a van and take pictures of me as a devotee and I will get a restraining order against you (and have done) - and if a person does the same on the net, I still feel the same (which is completley different to "hey, she's cute, I see a new screensaver!")

Elizabeth McClung said...

Elizabeth: Yeah, all kinds.......all kinds.....need a drink! Cheers!

Philip: Errrr.....winner of off topic comment - happy Xmas.

Yoga: Well, the demented always seem to have more energy - I don't know why, so that is a part of life - thanks, I'm going to keep on trucking!

Tom P: Thanks, it is wierd how we have these drugs for the brain and we still don't know how they work really, so many different effects. Yeah, I wish I could have know life without them too. Except I get contact one way or another several times a week either Youtube or here or other places. Sigh. Happy Xmas to you and Michel.

Linz: Thanks - I will look up the challenge, I am a big behind on my memes (like a month!) but I might do a meta-mega meme - that would be cool. Thanks for coming by and commenting and tagging me.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Well, guess what. I'm coming to BC to do a series of lectures in the interior, we'll be popping over to Victoria to see Joe's sister for a quick visit. Maybe you'd like to do tea? or coffee? If you are up for that drop me an email with your email (you can find my address on 'fat') and we'll get it arranged as the date comes closer.

Zephyr said...

Surely there must be some *nice* devotees out there?

You seem to have bad luck for attracting the very invasive, creepy ones, but I am not convinced that all devotees are like that. That's why I'm so curious about the phenomenon; I'm sure there must be some well-adjusted, sane devs out there. My mind refuses to accept that all people with a particular fetish are lost causes.

Some of my friends suspect that my recent ex was a closet devo. I dunno, I was his *third* disabled girlfriend. They could be right...

Anonymous said...

I found out about this phenomenon a few weeks ago, about the time I started the process for custom-ordering a scooter. This kind of objectification leaves me feeling nauseated (well, everything leaves me nauseated). I have enough to deal with already. It makes me feel like cancelling the order. Everything makes me feel like cancelling the order, or dealing with other people does, anyway.

Also, people ask me questions all the time about my health. I know they're only going to ask more questions now, and I'm going to feel even less like answering them.

Is it possible to sue people who take or post your picture without your permission? Some of the (gag) devotee behavior sounds like stalking behavior, and that's prosecutable.

Started reading disability blogs a few weeks or a few months ago (no sense of time, lie on couch in pain all day, rinse and repeat) and am glad to read yours. I laughed when I read about the yoga pusher, because there's no way I can do yoga either, and I thought people were pushing it on me because they don't see me as disabled. Now I realize that no level of disability will stop an idiot's mouth from running. Everyone thinks they have the magic solution, that they're the expert and have the secret answer, if only you'd be smart enough to listen to them.

lilwatchergirl said...

On the subject of the pain stuff, this is another example of why I am deeply depressed by the medical establishment and the way it works today. Amitryptiline (I can't spell) has such horrendous side effects that it is not suitable for a large proportion of people, and it doesn't help everyone with pain anyway. It helped me for about three months, then my heart decided it wasn't putting up with it anymore. But because it's less culturally loaded than the so-called addictive narcotic-based painkillers (does the concept of addiction really matter with people who are going to be in pain for the rest of their lives, anyway??), doctors are happy to experiment on people with it. The painkiller 'issue' is one that's related to an appalling attitude among doctors. The mobility aids 'issue' is another. And to my mind, it's all about social control and oppression. The medical model in action... Sigh.

As for the body image thing - this is something I might want to research, if I finally get to do my Disability Studies MA. It strikes me as having a lot in common with Naomi Woolf's 'The Beauty Myth' - just as women can perpetuate self-oppression through a distorted idea of body image and what's acceptable there, so can disabled people... It ties in with gendered expectations. It needs challenging, but I don't know how easy that would be in appearance-obsessed societies like ours. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by mobility aids issue? Do you mean doctors or others who are reluctant to "allow" people to use mobility aids when it would improve quality of life?

Yes, disability studies, the next frontier. Because everywhere you turn, there is rampant disablism.

Ms. Pet said...

Great Post! SexAbility! SexAbility???? LOL I hope you don't mind, but really, this IS what the site is all about!

I'm soooo glad you decided not to kill your blog, although, I can understand why you'd want to with all those slimy folks bothering you. But big hugs to not letting their grossness close you down. *pause* Totally selfish of me, I know! But your blog is great and I'd miss you.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Dave: Emailed you, but must remember to do it again.

Zephyr: I agree that there is probably a spectrum from "This is what I am attracted to" to the "I will stalk and take pictures and video and trade them with me friends for sexual pleasure (just look up 'wheelchair girl' or 'amputation sighting' on youtube to see some of these) - it just that with the anonymous nature of the internet, thousands can collect and act in ways which are inappropriate while instead of being told "that is inappropriate" they are busy congratulating each other - on Bitch Ph.d there was a series of posts on guys mining personal Flickr pics for sex sites (even if were naked or near naked).

Anon: sadly, according to my police, it is virtually impossible to regulate this activity since what is a sexual picture to these people isn't what society would consider sexual (you struggling to transfer into your wheelchair, for example) - and even the largest devotee pay per view site (located in CANADA - we're #1!) - simply put a "distributed for education purposes only" tag on their pictures/video. I don't know if the misrepresentation of being disabled to try and make a "connection" with a REAL LIVE disabled woman is prosecutable but I would be wary. - And yes, it is amazing what people think will solve a medical problem they have never heard of until you told them three minutes ago.

Lilwatchergirl: Yes, the whole "oh no opiates!" painkiller wierdout seems to mean that you get to experiment with everything but - I don't know the solution to that. I hope you do your work on disability studies at least a paper on sexual identity in females with a disability - Lene Anderson of The Seated View talks about sexual identity, female beauty and disability in From Sex Object to the Fourth Plinth: http://theseatedview.blogspot.com/2008/01/from-sex-object-to-fourth-plinth.html

Anon: No disagreement here!

Ms. Pet: Yes, I am sorry, I have been not posting enough over on sexability - and yes, this is a disability sexuality topic (at least one that comes up for me!)

Yup, I'm not going anywhere, I just had a bit of a freak out - a little online mental pawed over that was not so pleasant.