Thursday, October 29, 2015

I type to communicate

I type to communicate.

Here is communication.

Or when I type directly to people on the other side of the world, that's still communication.

What's different when we're next to each other? What's different if we're in the same room, and typing - computer to computer - rather than dealing with the challenges of spoken language? What's different if some are speaking and others are typing?

I type to communicate. Sometimes, it is the only way to get ideas across.

My tongue ties, and I try to speak. Words come out, but they're not what I mean. Confusion. Maybe it's good enough? But I want to do better, and I can when I type.

My brain revolts, and I try to speak. Nothing, I do not understand how the words go to speech. The migraine has stolen the key to that part of my brain. But I type, and can get what I need.

My body overloads, and I try to speak. Words come out, but it's hard. It steals capability. I cannot see. I cannot understand. I forget what I'm doing in the middle of my sentence. I type, and it's easy, it's understandable. My fingers understand what my vocal cords do not.

I type to communicate because it makes sense. Because it gives me more power to share with the world, thoughts I want to share, ideas I think others need to know.

I type to communicate because I can get more thoughts to more people. More ideas out of my mind. More stories where they need to be.

I type to communicate because communication isn't the same as speech and speech isn't the same as communication.

When it makes sense for me to speak, I speak.
And when it makes sense for me to type, I type.
And I can be someone who does both.

I can be someone who is verbal and someone who types to communicate.

I can be someone who is verbal and keep multiple AAC apps on my phone, turning to them at appropriate times.

I can be someone who is verbal and still think better in text. Just because I am verbal doesn't mean that my speaking voice is all of my communication.
Just because I am verbal doesn't mean I need to speak at all times.

I type to communicate. My words. My methods. My way of being.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Getting used to it

"They have to get used to it"

Whether it is the touch, or being "okay" with someone doing something they don't want sometimes is hard to tell. These words are repeated; it doesn't matter how many times, or ways, a child says no, you still should put your hands on them.

"It doesn't really hurt anyone"

It doesn't matter as you grow older, you are still told, "you can't really say no", and even "your experiences are wrong. You are wrong. You don't really have a reason for thinking that, for saying that."

Both of these things are things I've been told recently. I've been told touch doesn't hurt. I've been told that people just need to get used to touch. I've been told that it doesn't matter if people say no, you should still put a hand on their arm. I've been told it doesn't matter if I say no, stop touching me.

I wonder if people are even thinking about what they're saying; if they're even aware of the implications of their words and actions, or if they are just blissfully ignorant. They must be ignorant it seems, people wouldn't take away that much autonomy, would they? Would people knowingly say "you aren't allowed to say no" or "someone touching you in case you are touched later is more important than your ability to choose what is done to your own body"?

How do people have these thoughts- where the ability to say no, the ability to choose what is happening to yourself, the ability to decide whether or not someone else is in your body's space - is less important than something someone else chooses - someone who's body it is not.

How are these things justified? "They have to get used to it"? As if someone is not capable of saying to keep hands away from their body as they get older. "It doesn't really hurt"? As if someone who is disabled is incapable of identifying their body's own sensations.

Getting used to it.

Getting used to doing what others tell us to do. Getting used to hearing "no, your experiences are a lie". Getting used to being told what to do by others, because they have power over us. Getting used to our senses not being paid attention to, even when it involves getting physically into our space, touching us, pushing us around.

Getting used to it.

Being afraid to speak up. Being afraid to say when there's a problem, because you've always been told that you're wrong, that your feelings are wrong, that your body is wrong. Getting used to it. Not knowing how to say something, or when to say something. It's always wrong you know. You're always wrong.

Getting used to it. Because it's never your choice. It's only the choice of the others.