Recently on Twitter much fun was had with the idea of women writing ourselves as a male author would. I couldn’t join in because I’m a disabled fat middle aged women and that means I’m invisible to most male authors. And actually a lot of female authors. And when they do write us it’s as comic relief.
I did get to join in with the “write yourself as you would write you” challenge but that left me wondering why I write so few fat characters. I think the truth is that I don’t trust myself to write fat characters. I’m worried that my own body image issues will creep through and I don’t want to put any more fatphobia in the world.
Perhaps I’m also subconsciously feeling like I’m the wrong person to write that kind of acceptance and diversity. I shouldn’t write positively about fat women because I’m a fat woman so it doesn’t count. But if I don’t do it then who will? There’s not a lot of skinny people queueing up to write warmly about fat people. Able bodied people tend not to write about the disabled, particularly not those with chronic pain. And neurotypical people are really bad at writing neurodiverse characters.
But then there’s a part of me that resists that. Don’t I get to write my fantasies of a life without pain, a life of full mobility, a life where I don’t have to spend every waking moment justifying the space I take up? I deal with that shit all day every day and now I have to write about it too? How is that fair?
If you’re the kind of masochist that enjoyed reading this rant why not buy me a coffee.
I have gained 200g. That’s the same less than statistically insignificant 200g that I lost last week. This week I’m menstruating so it could easily be that.
I am thoroughly pissed off with this diet. It’s partly because I’m not happy with my attitude to food right now and partly because the “Beast from the East” is making it impossible to properly plan my shopping.
I’m disabled so I rely on food deliveries to get the bulk of my groceries. I get a few things locally but my condition is variable so I can’t rely on being able to get out to the shops. So I can get a bit intense when Sainsbury decide to cancel deliveries with no notice or warning. Not even an email to say “No food for you. Soz,” with a handy ‘reschedule for a day when the weather isn’t trying to kill us all’ link to click on.
My options now are to come off the diet and eat all the store cupboard stuff that doesn’t really fit it until I can get a delivery or to go on the ‘I can’t eat anything because Sainsbury is run by bastards’ diet. Or find out how many of the local takeaway delivery drivers are nuts enough to be driving in this weather.
Wish me luck.
Every day the first thing that I do is to fight with my compression tights. And also my self image and my failing body. I say it’s the first thing but really the first thing I do is to wake up and curse the fact that I am awake and alive and that my life is still like this. Then I muster my limited mental resources for the act of will necessary to get out of bed. Then I fight.
It makes me so fucking angry. Getting up every day to fight a losing battle against the Lipoedema that will eventually turn me into a blob in a wheelchair. Being faced with the reality that I’m not strong enough to get my fucking tights on properly. Knowing that if I can’t master compression garments I won’t even get on the waiting list for the surgery that is the only lasting treatment.
Spending the next hour with weak arms and shaking hands because I’m not getting any better at this. Unable to go anywhere because I can’t get the tights to stay up while I’m walking. Fighting the urge to stab myself. To hack at the useless, lumpy flesh that’s destroying my joints.
And then I spend the rest of the day surrounded by the evidence of the chores that I can’t do because I’m too exhausted from my battle.
I’m trying to get better. I diet even though I hate it and I know it won’t fix the lipoedema. I try to exercise even though that hurts and so far actually seems to be making things worse. I’ve been trying the 100 squat challenge. It took me 3 days to get up to 100 squats but I haven’t managed it since because my right knee hurts too much. The knee pain woke me up this morning.
And the absolute worst is the feeling that it’s all worthless. What’s the point of all this fighting? All it does it makes me angry and tired. I’m giving up the ability to get stuff done now for the chance to be able to do more in the future. But that’s just not going to happen. I don’t get that lucky. This fight is doomed to failure and by fighting I’m making everything worse right now.
If you have enjoyed this post then why not buy me a coffee with Ko-Fi?
At the last election I was faced with the realisation that the electorate of the United Kingdom either actively wants me dead or at least doesn’t care if I die. It was a sobering realisation.
This time it is, if anything, worse. Because now it’s not just the United Kingdom. Many of my fellow Scots want me dead. Why?
Seriously, Scottish Conservative voters, why do you want me and people like me dead? You’ve voted for a party that has cut disability benefits, attacked the NHS, cut Social Care spending and refused to condemn the forced institutionalisation of disabled people. People are dying. People have died. And if, as seems likely, the Tories cling on to power then more people will die.
If you voted Conservative in this election then you voted in favour of turfing out law abiding EU citizens, you voted in favour of the rape clause, you voted in favour of taking mobility cars from disabled people, cutting benefits to the mentally ill and to people with learning difficulties. You voted in favour of benefit sanctions that drive vulnerable people to food banks where they can hang out with nurses and police officers. You voted against the NHS. You voted in favour of fox hunting and selling ivory and cosying up to Donald Fucking Trump.
If you voted Conservative then why? What was it that you thought you were voting for?
Of course if it’s Scottish Conservative MPs that return the Conservative party to power against the will of the English electorate I am going to laugh for about a week. Particularly since the EVEL legislation, pushed through by the Conservatives in the wake of the independence referendum, means that they wont be able to vote on a lot of bills.
The UK is facing an unexpected election in June. I have a message for everyone eligible to vote in it – I’m a human being, my disability doesn’t make me any less human, people like me don’t deserve to die just so that our elected leaders can pursue a dream of austerity that most reputable economists regard as purest bunkum.
You might be wondering what on earth I’m going on about. It’s not like anyone is talking about loading disabled people on to cattle trucks. Yet. So here’s some further reading for you:
If you vote Conservative you’re voting for people who don’t care about child poverty, the working poor, or disabled people. You’re voting for people who can’t even lie consistently. You’re voting for people who claim that they are subsidising an entire nation (Scotland) while refusing to subsidise a spare room to store the equipment needed by a disabled child.
A vote for the Conservatives says that you’re just fine with selling off the NHS. It says that you think filling in an 8 page form about sexual assault is a reasonable burden to place on a woman just trying to get tax credits for a third child. It’s saying that you think the 50,000 disabled people who have already lost their motability vehicles are better off indoors.
Whatever else you think you’re doing when you put your X in the box marked Conservative And Unionist Party you’re also telling me and people like me to just fuck off and die quietly.
Everything I do is hard. There are no easy options for me. My poor health means that even lying in bed doing nothing gets painful very quickly. That means that every chore I do is the result of an act of will.
Which is how I know that I’m cursed. Either that or God is fucking with me.
Today I did some chores. One of them was putting some light coloured clothes in the washing machine. Because some of the clothes were more colourful than others (but not quite dark enough for a dark wash) I put in a colour catcher sheet. That means that I had to crouch down to get the colour catcher sheet out of the under-sink cupboard which was painful. It cost me additional spoons. Just so that I could do that wash properly.
Let’s be clear that I didn’t actually have to do any of this. I have a husband who is technically able bodied, I hadn’t run out of clothes, and I could have put on a dark wash that didn’t need the catcher. I did it because I’m trying to be a proper functioning adult who does their fare share of chores regularly instead of waiting till they can’t possibly get out of doing them any longer.
And what was my reward for doing all of this? Everything came out pink except the colour catcher which was pristine white. I don’t like pink. I only have a couple of pink items of clothing. Well I only had a couple. I’ve got a lot more now. Also a pink tea-towel.
And the pink thing that dyed everything else? It was a scarf and it was only in the wash because it got hit by some seagull crap. Which I keep hearing is lucky.