Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Opposition, and abuse

Actually I don’t wake up in the morning hoping for overwhelming abuse and opposition. Just to let everyone know. It is simply that if I folded or gave up every time someone bullied, and in this world there are a great many bullies, ones almost every day, then I would be part of the problem. Then it would not be long until I would be standing by watching injustice being done in front of my eyes, being done in my name and doing nothing because….well, I don’t want to be bullied.

I did have to hold off a couple comments because I did state that the Mr. Anon in the previous piece was an archtype and it became easier to attack him than it did to share of ourselves. Also that Mr. Anon was going to be an advocate one day, he just didn’t know it yet, because age, if nothing else introduces us to pain, to chronic conditions and to our limitations. So while I put my name out on this blog and continue to stand up as the whipping child, I was giving Mr. Anon a pass, he spoke his piece and I spoke mine. So if your comment didn’t appear and you want to repost it without the attacks on Mr. Anon I will be happy to publish them. I don’t want the comments section to be an “in club” or a place where there is ugly attacks at length. And if you do like that, I can recommend you to several feminist blogs where the many dozens to hundreds of comments on the post are often viscous attacks of individuals.

For me, it seemed today was a lot about learning who I was, and who I wasn’t and what I was good for and what my value is (less than $500 in case you are wondering). I have been emotionally attacked several times today and physically a couple too. Some of those were by proxy. Turns that, for me at least, there is a difference between emotional pleasure and emotional pain, and between physical pleasure and pain.

Yesterday, while trying to come up with the #10 reason of why to live, I quickly ran through my mind and came up with 10 reasons why I should die. Pretty high up there is because a great many people would be pretty darn happy with that outcome; it would resolve all sorts of conflict from relatives unable to tell anyone about us as a couple to people who still don’t “accept” my being sick. Darn it, another one of those ‘lifestyle choices.’

I did a blog today for the Postcard Project. I also ended up working out the average cost per postcard. But the number is so ludicrous that I have no intention of telling anyone. I have managed to get past my fear barrier and put some things on ebay, a couple of which have sold. Ironically, I have spent 1/3 of the money already on a set of 12 postcards. And I have a few more orders for stickers and postcards in. Yes, I will never learn. But on the other hand, if I did cocaine or heroin, it would be of no good to anyone but myself, while with this, I presumably help others, or at least give myself the illusion that such is so.

I had some prolonged contact with some family members today so there was some talk about sexual abuse (mine), and how sort of unmemorable it was for everyone else. Oh well. I guess it is like the news, got to keep the abuse current to keep it interesting or have memorable conversations. So I am in the mood for a good rape if anyone wants to drop on by.

Also, was going to make a joke about if anyone wanted to do a snuff film but then realized I wasn’t joking. You know, that kind of nice head space.

The problem about having a blog by your name, filled with pictures of you, and the like is that if people WANT to hurt you, in email or otherwise, sometimes not even intentionally, it is really quite easy. There is literally no place to hide. It took I believe about 26 hours from me revealing the disability I was most ashamed of and one which I am quite capable of hiding, brought back to me held in the air as a reason I was a lesser person.

So it would be easy to not do something like that again. Except then there is no point to this blog in the first place. There are no awards listed on the sides of this blog because I don’t display them. This blog is about either the writing, the story or both. And when either bores you, please feel free to depart, to find someone with a disability who is more interesting.

I am not, it seems, a disability activist, because I only write about ONE person generally who has a disability. Nor am I a feminist, because I write about being disabled (which I guess comes under Hobby?), dunno. Not engaged in the feminist blog wars of today, which doesn’t seem to include whether all women can ride city buses or be able to apply for jobs; able bodied or otherwise, but about more ‘important issues.’ In fact if there is one thing I can almost assure every reader is that this blog is not going to be considered about ‘important issues.’ I don’t blog about politics (intentionally), or lesbian gossip or films (intentionally), it has pretty much been limited now to what is it like from a single point of view to face pain, to face indifference in a medical system, to face loss, grief, degeneration, and death. And it covers both the physical and emotional ways in which a single individual tries to deal and cope with that. And that’s it. A conversation today about my funeral, how I want a small wake, and who is not to be allowed.

Lyrica is great and Lyrica helps me have a time when I can do things and plan things and get things done before it stops working, because when it does, the shit is really going to hit the fan. I was going to post several days ago that if you WANT a postcard that you had better ask very, very soon, because the quality of my writing, the effort it takes me to hold a pen and the times at which I am simply illegible are increasing. But then I had a good day and so I put it off. That is what life is like right now. I am taken to the brink over and over again and then I manage to have a good day and I put it off. I don’t kill myself today. I don’t stay in bed today. I don’t give up on going outside four times a week today. I don’t give in to the pain today.

Except today I did. Today I beat my face until it was raw. And my body. I did it for some of you. Since you weren’t here to do it in person, or drag me behind your pickup truck. It is my demon and today it came out to play. Linda grabbed me, she hurt me. She shoved me, she body slammed me. After that anything was fair game. She had told me that my body was something to be used, and so I used it and used it until there was no more left. Until I hit the walls with the force.

You know, I don’t really like to face abuse and overwhelming opposition and bullying. But it is, in some ways, all I know, all I know about people and all I know about myself.

I will be back and I will continue to post the things I hide, the things I am ashamed of becuase this is my record and I don't know how else to do it. I'm not allowed a cat you see, management says no.


cheryl g said...

I love you... I don't know what else I can say right now. Everything I think of sounds so stupid in my head and I fear saying something in a way that hurts you. I don't want to hurt you.

I love you.

yanub said...

OK, I'm confused about the Linda hurting you bit. You can explain or not. You don't owe anyone an explanation.

And that's what I love about you. You do put yourself out there. You are honest and brave about that in a way that I know I will never be. To be known, really known, by just anyone? Too scary for me. I can only reveal parts of myself, but you are naked before the world, hiding nothing.

And I love that we don't talk politics here, or feminism, or any other academic -ism. And yet this is the most radical site I visit. And it is radical because you refuse to be any less who you are, because you show your shame and fear as well as your pride and courage, and dare the world to see, and in seeing, see itself.

Elizabeth McClung said...

No, the physcial stuff isn't a metaphor, I did those things, my face is raw, I have bruises, Linda did those things. No, it is not S&M. Abuse is an odd beast, it turns you into the one thing you know, which is the very thing you hate; I don't hit others, but they can hit me, and if they want it, I'll hit myself in the face for them.

Kita said...

Jeasus Beth. Except, I know how you are feeling. Abuse is a wild beast, charging at you again and again until there is nothing left to hurt. I'm sorry that you were angry enough to hurt yourself - but, as you said, it beats hurting others.

Mr Anon - if you read this, the only thing that Beth is doing is LIVING. You might like to try it sometime..

lots of love and a damn big hug..

desdemona said...

Yeah, yesterday really really sucked.
I never thought I'd start eating to compensate, but here I am, two nutella sandwiches and a chocolate cake thing later.. Man I want chocolate! Maybe, if I get really fat, my nerves will be so well cushioned that nothing gets through.

*hugs* it has to get better at some point, right?

SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,
I'm very concerned about you. I know your history makes it very difficult for you to believe this - but you don't deserve to be hurt. You are as valuable and worthy of protection as anyone. I know what you experience in the world, the injustices you face - how some people devalue you- also makes it hard to hang on to that belief. But you are as precious as anyone else in the world. Those demons from the past, sometimes their power is great. I don't know what happened, but I know you are in pain, in a dark place. Please,if you need help, call Cheryl or someone to come & stay with you. I can't bear the thought of you hurting yourself. It hurts me. See, turning the pain against yourself, hitting yourself, does hurt others. You don't hit others - good. So please don't hit Elizabeth. If you are still up & read this. please let me know you are OK. E-mail me if you want. I'll check my e-mail & here again, before I go back to bed.


Roslyn said...

I've read your blog for a while; I don't know how long. I first came here through the BBC Ouch website.

I'm one of 'those people' myself, although I just have the public's bastardness to deal with rather than what can be a day-to-day struggle. I end up emphathising with your experiences of the public's ignorance and so on, but I can only sympathise with the rest, and I can only understand it so far as you've wrote about it here. Anything further is just me trying to imagine what it must be like to actually live that situation.

And I don't know how I'd cope. I've thought about commenting here for some time and every time, I'm not sure what to say. Now, it's even harder to think of what to say, because it's even further out of my league of understanding.

I've suffered verbal abuse at the hands (or, mouth?) of a partner, and been messed around, but even he would have hit himself before lifting a hand to me.

I only know about you and Linda through what you write and from what you've chosen to say about this, I can only say, I hope you're going to be alright soon. Which sounds hollow because really I guess part of me feels I know you, I like you, and I care deeply about those I like and it hurts me to hear of them hurt.

But, I only know you so far as this blog, and so far as I can extend anything, I can only extend my message that I hope everything will get better as soon as possible, for however much it can improve.

I don't know. I suppose I wanted to say something, finally, just in case it helped one iota, to hear that yet another person cares.

Perpetual Beginner said...

It's oddly appropriate that Mr. Anonymous is anonymous, becaues he's practically archtypal. Ablism seems so reasonable to people who haven't thought it through. Is it so wrong to want the best badminton partner, the best employee, etc., etc..

Well, yes. And no. It's wrong to assume that someone isn't the best simply because they're in a wheelchair, or epileptic, or deaf, or anything. If they can do the job at all, then "best" is not necessarily defined by absolute physical skill - jobs are not the Olympics, and even in the Olympics sheer physical prowess doesn't always carry the day. I want the teacher who can reach my kid, the retail employee who's interested and wants to help, the hairdresser who listens to me and gives me a haircut I can use, the karate teacher who can explain how and why to move. None of these have squat to do with sheer physical ability, and the assumption that technical skill is the important bit causes a lot of problems.

Beth - what? What happened with Linda? I know that you self-harm sometimes, and it worries me even though I can see why the impulse is coming out, but you've never said anything about abuse from Linda before. I won't go on about the obvious, but if this hasn't happened before how can we make sure it doesn't happen again?

Please, please try not to leverage other people's hate for them; it doesn't need leveraging.

FridaWrites said...

Elizabeth, I'm not sure what to say because I'm not entirely sure what's happened. Only I can say that I hope you're okay and that things will get better. But I still think it's a good idea to disallow anonymous posting because of the pattern of people posting this kind of thing. I'll send an email.

I do like the postcards you've done.

cheryl g said...

I know it isn't a metaphor. I know you are in incredible pain both physically and emotionally.

I would sell my soul if it meant you would not have pain and your demons would no longer torment you. I know it's a sacrifice you aren't willing to accept but I would make it.

I pray fervently that you and Linda are able to stay together through all the crap that is continually being thrown at you. I know there is a lot of love there - please hold on to that. Hold on to the knowledge that I love you as well.

Devi said...

Far as I'm concerned, you are a feminist, because disability *is* a feminist issue, dangit!

As for the quality of your handwriting - going by the postcards you sent me, it's still nicer and more legible than my own, not that that says much...

On the more personal things, I don't know what to say except that I'm here and I care.

wendryn said...


Hope it gets better. There are idiots everywhere.

Nancy said...

Just wanted to let you know that I'll be thinking about you, and hoping things get better soon.

Tom P. said...

Since you don't write much about lesbian subjects I thought I would tell you about a story in the news in case you missed it. Del Martin, a lesbian activist who started the first lesbian association in the US, died yesterday in San Francisco. Martin was 87. She had been with her partner, Phyllis Lyon, for 55 years. The two were finally able to marry in June with the recent change to California law.

yanub said...


Beth. You don't deserve to be hit. Not by Linda. Not by yourself. Not by anyone.

Saying that, I do realize that abuse is the "gift" that keeps on giving. That abuse conditions a person to accept more abuse, to become complicit with their abuser, even to seek out abuse. That it requires constant vigilance to still those voices that tell you that you are unworthy of respect and worthy only of abuse.

Beth, you are worthy of so much more. More compassion. More celebration. More respect.

You and Linda are both under extreme stress right now. The energy that fighting the urge for abuse takes is probably often in short supply. Like many others, I'm frustrated to see someone I consider a friend need more help in getting resources, and being too far away to give that help.

Wheelz_of_fire said...

My hand is in your hand Beth. No-one wants you to hurt yourself. Linda did not want you to hurt yourself and by stopping you may have hurt you, but it was unintentional. If I had been Linda, I would have done exactly the same.
Take my hand and just dont question me on the burns, OK?

Beth, you are the one and only Elizabeth Fucking McClung. Thank you for being you. The world would be an unhappier place if you were not around..

lots of love


Neil said...

Hey, I wish you weren't in such a bad space, and I wish many others things, but wishes don't always work, do they?

I most certainly do NOT want you to hit yourself for me, dear lady.

On the other hand, I did put the papers in the mail yesterday to have a coat of arms registered with the Anachronism Society. And inspi - er, in honour of you, my colours will be red and GOLD (well, heraldically, it's Or, symbolized by yellow). I thought of silver, thought thought of second place, and thought of you, so I chose the gold.

You post so much that is positive, it's hard to read of you hurting yourself. I hope you can stop, Beth, since your body is doing enough bad things to you; you don't need your brain helping the disease.

Zen Hugs,

Anna said...

what?........tell me this is a metaphor, please. Okay, you are really scaring me. Sort of whish I was closer to Canada so I could come running. What......?

Abuse is never ever ever OK sort of never ever.