I awoke this morning to the sounds of my mom and sister singing to me in unison, the classic happy birthday song on the answering machine of my landline as I was exiting the bathroom.
I got several nice GIF’s in Messenger from my primary caregiver Connie.
I’ve gotten like 10+ birthday greetings on my Facebook wall so far.
My eldest sister, who I had a bad falling out with on Easter, even sent me a thick package with two General Hospital 60th Anniversary magazines and a nice friendly birthday card. Thank you, eldest sister. ❤
At dialysis, I got two more cards and pretty green, blue and teal balloons.
My other three siblings have sent me nothing as usual though, nor have they called me, and the wife of my late eldest brother who I know hates me too, never ever sends me any cards anymore. When my eldest brother was alive, he made sure she sent me a card with money on my birthday and at Christmas, but when he passed away on May 25, 2018, those cards stopped.
Today I am all alone until my secondary caregiver comes on at 4 PM. But she has also just wished me a happy birthday.
It is my fervent wish and heart’s hope that my other three siblings and my sister in law would finally realize how deeply I still hurt from the years of growing up when I was being unaccepted, unwelcome, excluded, picked on, taunted, criticized and ignored by them. And that this is the main reason why I write the blogs I do, so they will finally realize and get it—- and ME.
I, Melissa, grew up falling through the cracks. No one seemed to understand why I couldn’t do this and that very well, nor why I never learned how to sew, knit, crochet, or do leathercraft, or learn how to swim, ride a bike, or roller skate.
I am autistic. It is a fully genetic developmental disability that people are born with. It colors how we see and view everything that happens outside of our bodies. E V E R Y T H I N G.
But most of my family all thought of me as a monster, that I was just being lazy, spoiled and selfish and that I just didn’t try hard enough. The worst was when they would tell me I was always trying to get out of stuff, or that I had too many problems, or that I was always trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes and that I was faking my disabilities.
No one knew how hard I did always try to do my chores. I remember vacuuming. I remember endless times of me standing over the kitchen sink doing dishes after a meal. I remember scrubbing the sink and the counters until they shined. I remember sweeping and dusting. I remember cleaning the bathroom, my bedroom, and changing my bedsheets. I remember baking and cooking. I remember helping to pick the fruit in our orchards. I remember setting the dinner table. I remember ALL of the things I did do.
But I was never one of them. My nose was too big. I was too weird. I had the weird crossed eyes. I was too needy, too sensitive, too wrong to all of them.
In the 1980’s, I would sit at our dining room table and play games and draw with one of my nephews, and today, this nephew, now in his 40’s, has nothing to do with me. None of my nieces and nephews call me or send me cards either.
My family does not understand how deeply, how profoundly they have hurt me, and why when I was growing up, I did fight back and I did things they didn’t like in reaction—in self defense— to me always getting ganged up on and literally hammered and squelched and just fucking left OUT.
My youngest brother does not understand how it affected me when he suddenly turned his demon eyes on me at the dinner table every single night of my Sophomore year of high school and how THAT AFFECTED ME. And that is why I began picking on him, to try to get him to stop being Demon Brother with me.
Or how it affected me to have him introduce me to one of his girlfriends as his mentally retarded sister. Yes, he seriously referred to me as the R word.
I have never gotten to work my entire adult life, so I have spent all of this time subsisting month-to-month on social safety net benefits that have never been truly enough to live on….and why I started writing letter after letter after letter to my aunt to try to get her to care and help me so I could get out of my rut.
Letters that got ignored, and made me even more of a laughing stock to my entire family.
At 63 years of age, I have never gotten to live. At 63 years of age today, I feel like I’ve been ripped off. At age 63, I am now on dialysis, and I am tired and want to quit dialysis and let nature take its course.
Why? Because people still want to change, cure and fix Wrong Weird Melissa. People still want me to fit in and to march to their beat.
They don’t understand. I am A U T I S T I C. Autism is a whole different operating system. We can appear normal, we can even mask our autistic traits so we can fit in. But they don’t know how tiring masking is—and I remember spending so many family BBQ’s and Christmases in my bedroom because of how I had to mask to fit in. It would tire me out. I would have to get away to my bedroom because it was my only safe space.
Today, I would like to turn my whole story into a book. But I have no way to get it published or even noticed by those who can get it published.
I seriously didn’t ever ask to be born.
If only you all knew how much I have hurt….and the sheer strength it takes me today to even wake up anymore…..
If anyone cares to help me in any way, or just send me cards, here’s my mailing address: Melissa Fields P. O. Box 6416 Santa Maria CA 93456-6416
Yes. Ima be honest. I do very much happen to grieve the life I once had in my 20’s and early 30’s—I was still so full of hope and promise for dreams I had that I felt could still be achieved.
I especially grieve the period of my life when I was a lot more happy and at peace—which was from March 1983 until April 1992 when the Mean Girls next door caused me to go into a downward spiral with both my mental and physical health that I have never been able to get back out of.
And yes, when I could take walks, go on hikes, take super long drives every evening, sit and eat in restaurants where the wait staff liked me, days when I could drive up to the ocean and walk right on the sand, at water’s edge.
Being disabled isn’t wrong or bad. The fact that I have lost my ability to access hiking trails, walks around my neighborhood, the sand at the beach, and my long drives because of inaccessibility and I once again lot the ability to drive, is what is wrong and badly needs to be fixed.
Why can’t wheelchair users be able to get an all-terrain electric wheelchair with long battery life, without having to go through red tape, for instance? And a ramp at the front and back doors of my home?
Why can’t I have a shower with no tub wall to have to swing my legs over? A shower I can get in and out of by myself?
Why can’t I see my medical provider right away, when I want to see them, and not on their schedule?
Why can’t my dialysis treatments be a time I choose, not a time that only works for the clinic I go to?
Why can’t my home care services actually be flexible to include outings in my community? And why can’t it be fixed to not be so task specific? But real time care? Again, on my schedule.
I am not here today writing, because I am on both Facebook and Twitter writing and posting. I am even going onto politicians’ profiles to Tweet.
Because I’m so fucking up to here with waking up every morning to news of yet another report of yet another mass slaughtering of human beings who won’t be at the dinner table tonight because….
As of today, the US of A has now had 200+ mass shootings.
We cannot go to the mall on a Saturday without being shot and killed.
As I said before, these blogs I write…are not meant to be feel-good positive vibes only blogs. Ima write about my autism, and how daily life goes for me, a late-diagnosed autistic, plus, since I am multiply-disabled, I write about all matters pertinent to disability matters.
I also write about political, human rights and civil rights issues.
Why? Because this all matters to me.
As I stated before, as of today, the United Sates of America has now had 200+ mass shootings since New Year’s Day of this year.
I will be writing a blog later on. Because. This needs to fucking stop. We are one of the few countries where mass shootings occur, often two or three a DAY now.
I saw a still photo of several victims of yesterday’s carnage from Allen Texas, a state where the governor is only digging his heels in deeper on loosening their gun laws EVEN MORE.
It was horrifying to see some of the victims with their chins blown off, and some with gaping bloody holes blown into the top of their skulls. Seven bloody bodies all in a pile.
Is this the America you want to continue to live in?
Ima just let you sit with this one while I go back to Twitter. I will be back later on to write more.
Two weeks ago, on Easter Sunday, my eldest sister, reverting to a mode of her personality which I have never, EVER felt comfortable being around at ALL, because this eldest sister’s version of herself when she gets in these high and mighty moods, is a version of my sister that I find to be very cruel, shallow, snotty, condescending and judgmental, decided she was gonna “help” me by sitting down at her old-fashioned antique dusty rural wooden desk to hand-pen me a real doozy of a scorched earth poison pen letter.
A letter so mean-spirited, I had to rip it, and her pictures up. A letter that caused me high distress, hives all weekend long, huge meltdowns, and that is still affecting me today…two weeks later.
In this letter, she told me that marriage is between a man and a woman only, that LGBTQ people have no rights, that abortion is murder and should be totally banned, even in cases of rape and incest, that she owns “those guns”—meaning the AR-15’s, and that basically, I am even too wrong for heaven because of my autism.
A letter that I GET to be every level of upset over. Because it was deliberately cruel. She wrote it knowing full well how it would negatively affect me.
To those new to this blog, I am Autistic. I was born Autistic. I had the misfortune of growing up in a strict, narrow-minded, shallow, bigoted family who did not get that, and who all came down so harshly on me, chiding me, gaslighting me, scolding me and punishing me at every turn for just being me.
I got bullied and oppression both at home and at school. I learned early on not to even trust my own mother or second eldest sister, who I did mostly feel safe around. And still do.
I grew up, and never got to go to college or get a real job. Nor did I ever get to marry and have children of my own. I have instead, lived alone, subsisting all of my adult years, on very meager social safety net benefits. I have done without and done without, living off credit cards to get things I cannot afford, like my vitamins, anti-fungal creams, and used, older versions of the things I have needed.
I have done without being able to realize any of the lifelong dream and goals I STILL have to this day of being able to pursue a career in acting, rock radio, art and graphic design. Dreams of being able to visit New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Long Island, the Hudson River Valley, New England, and Michigan.
Dreams of being able to actually live near NYC….or even in downtown Manhattan itself.
Daily, on Facebook, I pour over pictures of all of those places, imagining I am right there in those pictures…..longing so much to be there to experience it all, in person.
I have done without local friends, and the few local friends I attracted were those who thought nothing about using and exploiting me. All because I was taught not to stick up for my rights as a human being…all because I was taught that my me was all wrong and broken. All because most people today still don’t get autistic people and our need for routine, respect for our bodily autonomy, respect for our sensory needs, and our need for stability and reassurance.
I am now almost 63 years old and am multiply-disabled, and my eldest sister knows I write to vent just so I can try to make people—including my family—understand and really GET how it feels for me, daily, to be a living breathing human being who legit has gotten Left Behind to just fall through the fucking cracks all my life.
And I continue to do without. And do without. And it is getting harder for me to continue to do this.
Yes, I have suicidal ideations daily because of how shitty it feels to not be able to afford to turn around each and every single month. And how many things I can no longer do. And how many things I still have yet to achieve in my life.
I have suicidal ideations because most people do not care about me. Including most of my own family.
I have a large lymphedema lump on the inside of my inner left thigh, and it is rock-hard, and it hangs down past my left knee to almost my damn foot. It weighs my left leg and knee down. It is the size of an NFL-grade football. I can barely walk anymore.
I DID go to physical therapy to try to get the leg lump and lymphedema to shrink….I took Lasix, Potassium, wore the compression stockings, and did everything that I was able to do to try to help the lymphedema, but they wanted my legs wrapped so tightly that I would have not been able to drive, shop, and function. And the people at that PT facility were mean to me.
I was unable to get personal caregivers until 2012.
I used to really look forward to the letters I would get from my eldest sister. I was so happy that she finally realized how much she hurt me growing up….and that she and I finally had a pretty good relationship.
In her letters, she would tell me news of how she was doing, send me pictures, and even small gifts. She always encouraged me to keep writing, and to never leave anything out of my blogs and my story. She used to even send me the commemorative anniversary magazines on General Hospital, a show she used to watch, and I still watch.
When this bombshell of an Easter nasty gram came….it was totally out of left field….it destroyed me….and now I never want to hear from my eldest sister ever again.
Dear eldest sister, I was just told by my mom that you were worried your letter may cause me to have a heart attack.
Well, it did. It broke me. And now I want to just die.
You have not changed after all. You are still Mizz Nose Up In The Air concerning your baby sister. And now you use your MAGA religion to hurt and dismantle people’s very spirit and soul.
Knowing how you truly feel about me hurts, and if you read this tomorrow, please know, I am not accepting anymore mail from you, not even a birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Valentines card. And certainly no more Eater bombs.
Just don’t write to me anymore.
“A, B,C, D, E, Fuck you” by GAYLE. It’s the song that is playing right now. And it fits, oh baby, it fits.
An addendum to my last two open letter blogs, to you, eldest sister. Actually, if you would do me a solid, please scroll down to read first part one, then part two, before we go on. Do not read any further until you have read parts one and two below.
Also, if your library has a way to print out my blogs, please do so, so you can read them at your pace.
Okay, now that you’ve read my last two blogs, I want you to know what the Easter letter you sent me caused me all weekend long.
As you know, I am autistic. This means sensory issues, and sensory sensitivities — and lots of them. I take everything to heart. I have Complex-PTSD trauma on top of that from my growing up years, and an adult life of continuing to be misunderstood, misjudged, etc.
I am proud of my faith in God, and proud that I am Woke. And that I am not even close to being a Republican. I am also proud that I am autistic.
What your letter caused for me….
Was huge dysregulation, full-body dysregulation, which meant huge emotional upsets: huge screaming, crying, hitting myself, scratching myself, banging walls, banging my floor with a baseball bat, almost ruining an electrical outlet—the one my 50″ flatscreen TV, sound bar and cable box are all plugged into— kind of meltdowns, one after the other, after the other.
I kept breaking out in huge red hives all over.
Both of my caregivers were collateral damage as well….as I mistook everything they said and did as harsh criticism, as them being angry and put out with me, etc, and it only escalated my meltdowns further. My caregivers are gold, they did nothing wrong….but I have been so shaken UP ever since reading your words, it made me hyper-sensitive to everything and everyone around me.
I was so happy the day in 1994 when you read the open letter I had written to my whole family and you called me, and I finally had closure with yours and my painful family relationship. You were the only sibling who owned your part in my painful and lonely childhood.
We began corresponding and then when I got a computer, we emailed back and forth.
It made hearing from you accessible to me. Your handwriting and printing is beautiful, but has always been hard for me to read, so when you had the internet and email, it was heaven, I finally had my eldest sister back in my life.
Even when you got rid of your internet and still had a computer and printer, you would type them all and then print them so I could easily read them.
Whenever matters of my faith came up, I would explain my beliefs to you, and you would understand and back off on preaching at me.
And you always loved my blogs, and told me I needed to tell my story and you said for me not to leave anything out.
I feel you were well-aware of exactly how a letter like this would affect and hurt me. It shattered me. It has shattered my trust and faith in you. It was a huge insult to all I am. It told me what you truly think of your baby sister.
I mean it. Please do not send me anymore of those hellfire and damnation anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ+ MAGA-style evangelical letters.
I am confident in my faith and belief system, and my politics. Today’s Republican party is not our mom and dad’s Republican party at all anymore. It has devolved into a clown show with no heart or soul that is threatening our very democracy itself. Your letter has affected me so severely, I am still rattled and dysregulated today. I am so heartbroken that you harbor such hateful bigoted and transphobic homophobic beliefs. I really thought you were better than that!
In fact, since I did receive that letter, for the sake of my self care and what is left of my physical health, I am not going to accept anymore mail from you. That means not even a birthday card anymore. I am done with the parts of my family who hate me.
I am not done here. Your Easter bomb letter really shook me to my core, and not in a good way.
Today I want to take a deep dive into the things you said to me in this year’s Easter letter. Yes, I did rip it up and throw it straight into the trash…along with the white, blonde-haired blue-eyed Jesus you glued to the cover of the card you sent along with this letter….because the things that were said were full of misinformation, bigotry, and intolerance. I cannot with all that got said to me.
I shouldn’t have ripped it up, but I get highly emotional when I am given what constitutes as a literal nasty gram full of vitriol.
So, I am doing this from memory.
It was an ugly letter. The type of letter I never want to see ever again from my sister who usually has my BACK.
First of all….I don’t hate The United States Of America, or being an American. What I DO hate, with all I am, is the way in which this nation was founded and born. And each and every wrong thing whites did to secure this nation.
We live on stolen land….Turtle Island. If you do not know about Turtle island, you can Google Turtle Island on your next trip to your town’s library to read my blog.
We, meaning the white European people, came to North, Central and South America, and we basically, raped, murdered, and set fire to the homes and villages and crops of the hundreds of thousands of Indigenous tribes who lived and worked this land.
They owned Turtle Island, and we came in and took it all away from them, and their lives, families, and their humanity, were ALL taken away, robbed, from them.
Because we didn’t like their culture, languages, and spirituality, or the way in which they respected these lands, we came in, like giant bulldozers, set fire to their villages, raped, murdered them, and separated their children, took their children away from their parents, and threw them into cruel, abusive Catholic-run residential homes, in both Canada and the States…..we forced our religion on them, punished them for speaking their Native languages, and and cut their long, shiny, beautiful hair.
If you don’t believe me, and think I am just speaking hyperbole, Google Indigenousresidential schools, and why we now celebrate Indigenous People’s Day instead of Columbus Day. As well as What Thanksgiving Really Means, and the truth about our Thanksgiving.
Google Wounded Knee, and the true history of Mount Rushmore, the mountain we stole from the Lakota Sioux Indian tribe to carve the heads of our presidents, many of whom were white supremacists and slave owners.
Christopher Columbus was a rapist. And murderer, and robber.
Next, we went over to Africa, and forced more than a million human beings from their homes to force them to come here to be sold as slaves, and treated like third class animals. They also were forced to lose their original names, culture and identities, just to come here to be white people’s servants.
All of the government buildings in Washington DC were built by Black and Indigenous slaves. Including the white House and Capitol buildings.
Blacks could not vote. Blacks had separate drinking fountains. Blacks could not eat in white owned restaurants or had to use a separate, usually back entrance, to get food. Blacks were beaten, raped, and made to carry the babies that were conceived via rape by their slave owners.
Black people were forbidden to learn how to read and write, and kept from having an education.
Whenever Black people tried to build communities, whites set fire to them and destroyed them. Google Black Wall Street.
Black people were segregated at every turn….police departments were formed, specifically to keep Black people from escaping their slave owners.
Lynchings for no reason.
Martin Luther King Jr.
The 1619 Project.
Today, Black people being pulled over for routine traffic stops and murdered, slaughtered on the regular, even though they were unarmed. Killed by no-knock warrants. Black people killed just…driving, walking down the street, going out for a run, going grocery shopping, just talking on the cell phone in the park….
Google: Tamir Rice Eric Garner George Floyd Philando Castille Sandra Bland Alton Sterling Michael Brown Freddie Gray Elijah McClain Breonna Taylor Daunte Wright These are just the ones I saw on MSNBC, my favorite news channel.
Today they want to make it harder again for Black people to vote. Jerry-mandering Congressional districts is the way they do it….and enacting new voter suppression laws which are designed to disenfranchise Black, Indigenous, and all People Of Color.
This is why Black Lives Matters exists now. A movement I fully support.
I don’t hate America. I hate systemic racism, I hate what we did to the Indigenous People, who owned this land before we came.
I hate that we also came in and stole land from Mexico. And the way we still treat and criminalize those who are of Mexican, Caribbean, Central American, and South American descent.
How we treat and criminalize those of Middle Eastern and Muslim descent.
This was why NFL player Colin Kaepernick kneeled….as a protest of the systemic racism and violence that still exists towards Black and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color) today.
I don’t hate guns…at least not the ones we had on the mountain that you and my other siblings, my father and grandfather all hunted with.
None of you had an automatic rifle with a large capacity magazine. You had old school guns that were used to hunt deer, pheasants, the wild pigs in the hills above Los Alamos, and you used them target shoot, for fun. Your guns were always locked way, kept safe, and you all practiced good gun safety.
I am NOT against law-abiding citizens owning guns, but I am for common sense gun safety and reform. I am for red flag laws, I am for universal background checks, and I am all in for a ban on all automatic and semi-automatic military style killing machines.
Just as one is made to take both a written and driving test to secure a drivers license, the same should apply to all gun owners. All who wish to keep and bear arms should go through rigorous safety training and get an ID license, just like you do if you wish to operate a motor vehicle, before you can take your new gun home.
They need to close the gun show loophole.
I hate is that it is easy-peasy now for civilians to own and carry the military-grade automatic and semi-automatic assault killing machines….that are specifically designed to slaughter human beings.
I tried to learn how to shoot a conventional rifle / gun when I was a teenager. I didn’t like how it felt in my hands. I wasn’t comfortable having a gun in my hands. So I left the hunting and shooting to all of you who were into that. Don’t come at me with how I was the only one in the family who didn’t embrace y’all’s gun culture.
But an AR-15.
Come ON. Even you have to agree, these mass shootings that are happening, sometimes two a day now, that are not happening anywhere else, have to be stopped.
The guns used in these mass shootings are AR-15’s, and AR-15 style assault rifles, and many of them are illegally modified so they can kill, even MORE.
Sure, we need a mental health system that is easy to access, and is not coercive or punitive.
But mentally disabled folks are not killers. A person who has a psychiatric disability is more likely to hurt themselves than to hurt others, and are far more prone to be hurt, abused, and / or unalived, than they are to hurt others.
It is those who deliberately set out—-choose—to wreak violence upon others—that buy an AR-15 or two or three or four, just so they can shoot those they hate, that is the problem.
It has become an epidemic. The CDC says the main killer of children now are the guns.
It was an AR-15 that was used in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland Florida, which killed 17 students and injured 17 others, on February 14, 2018.
It was an AR-15 which killed 3 nine year old children in Nashville Tennessee
It was an AR-15 wielding bank employee who opened fire on his fellow employees and police officers who responded in Louisville Kentucky just a week after Nashville happened.
It was an AR-15 which killed school children in Sandy Hook and Columbine.
“Thoughts and prayers” and business as usual, are all we get after these shootings.
The AR-15’s need to be banned, as well as ALL military-grade assault weapons. NO civilian has the right to own those types of guns.
Not when so many school children are getting slaughtered by them. Not when one cannot grocery shop enjoy an afternoon at the movies or mall enjoy a parade walk down a street go to church or synagogue or mosque without the fear that we may get unalived and not be able to see our families, loved ones and friends ever again. Because an active shooter was on the loose and guess what, sister, I passed away today, because I got shot and killed by an AR-15 wielding hater. Just because I wanted to go to the mall and hang out in the food court today.
How would you feel, sis, to find out I got shot and killed, my entire body blown to literal bloody pieces, where you cannot even see my face smiling at you anymore because it got blown UP in a mass shooting when I was out shopping with Connie and Natalie at Wal-Mart?
How would you feel if an active shooter somehow made it out to the treatment floor where I am seated, and opened fire, on me, and my fellow dialysis neighbors while we are all dialyzing. That has crossed my mind a lot, recently. I have asked if my dialysis clinic has a plan of what to do if such a thing where to happen there.
Take all the time you need with that, sis.
I’m not against guns or the 2nd Amendment….but I AM against the further continuation of this carnage which happens only in America, because one faction of our political system has now chosen to embrace a very dangerous trend.
It has literally gotten to the point where NO one is safe any longer—not even you when you go out to do your weekly grocery shopping.
As for your vitriol about gay, trans and queer (LGBTQ+) folks? Sis, I came out to you years ago, when you still had a computer and the internet, and I took the time to sit down and explain in detail why I call myself bi, queer and non-binary, and my pronouns now happen to be both she/her/they/them.
You seemed to respect that then, and you said you embraced diversity.
But now, you sayin’: No one has the right to change their bodies? No one has the right to use what bathroom they feel best matches their gender identity? No one has the right to play on what sports team fits their gender identity?
No. Sorry, not sorry, we do have those rights.
I have every right to love and marry who I want.
My gender and sexual identity is not a sin.
I have many beautiful wonderful friends in my autistic/ disability community on Facebook who are trans, queer and non-binary, and I would grieve deeply if their existence was erased and squelched…and put back in the closet.
LGBTQ+ people are murdered for being us. Many commit suicide because of the bigotry we still get from the Far Right.
Being trans, gay, and queer, is not a something we choose….many people may be born (assigned) female or male at birth, but have more in the way of hormones and genetics of the opposite gender, or they may feel as though they are both male and female, it is a thing that lies deep within our genetic and biological makeup….and you cannot pray or coerce mine, nor anyone else’s gay away.
I have every right to exist, shop, travel, seek healthcare, eat and enjoy my life every bit as freely as any straight cis, hetero person on this earth.
I have as much right to kiss my partner when we go to the park or movies, or are just waking down the street, hand in hand, as you do.
For more on this subject, I invite you to read the blog John Pavlovitz wrote about not being hateful to LGBTQ+ people.
As for abortion and reproductive healthcare?
I don’t like abortion either, but it is NOT my place to tell another woman, trans, queer or non-binary person who possesses a uterus what they can and cannot do with their own bodies.
We have separation of church and state for a reason, a damn good reason.
Do you really think that if I had been raped as a teenager, first of all, I would I have been ready or ABLE to handle a pregnancy at that time—especially one that resulted from sexual assault? No. I was not ready, my BODY was not read, my psychological self was not ready— and I speak for all teens today, who are forced into non-consensual sex and become pregnant.
When back-alley and coat hanger abortions were the norm, back when abortion was illegal, women still got them—and guess what? They died—because of infections, including Sepsis.
I HAD Sepsis, and I almost died from it, so I know what it is like to have. I had a super high fever where they had to keep large fans blowing on me, and ice packs on my neck, to try to get my fever to go down. My leg lump was red hot fully infected, and I was in excruciating pain. That was when I got my diagnosis of end stage kidney disease. When I was in the hospital for three weeks in June and July of 2018.
With Roe V. Wade, we now had safe legal medical abortions, done by fully- licensed medical professionals, that were easy to access. Yes, some have abused it, but most really needed to have that access. It is still needed as long as humans walk this earth, because you cannot police what goes on in people’s bedrooms, backs of cars, etc. And now it has been taken away in 17 states as we speak today, because our current Right Wing-controlled MAGA Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade last summer.
The issue of abortion and reproductive rights and healthcare, is not black and white. It is very nuanced.
People have miscarriages. People have ectopic pregnancies. People cannot carry a baby to full term for various reasons, health, economic, safety….and not being ready to carry a baby to full term.
Do I feel abortion should be criminalized and even classified as a felony? Hell no.
Again, that’s you imposing your beliefs on another, and as far as I am concerned, you can have all the opinions you want, until they infringe upon another person’s right to their own bodily autonomy, beliefs, culture, etc. If your opinions are going to be rooted in my oppression, it is wrong.
Roe V. Wade needs to be codified as the law of the land.
As far as you being Republican and me being a progressive Democrat, I don’t give a damn what party you are affiliated with as long as you don’t use your political beliefs to oppress me and my friends.
I don’t hate Republicans, but what I DO hate, and hate with all my heart, is what today’s Republican party has devolved into, with Q-Anon, MAGA, Trumpism, and cold cruel The Cruelty Is The Point style capitalism. There are still a few Republicans out there whom I greatly respect and admire, who are fine people, but the vast majority of them are now a real fucking sad, sad, sad, sad clown show.
Please do not tell me you support the GOP chomping at the bit to cut and gut my Social Security, my Medicare, my Medicaid, and my housing, and food stamps.
Please do not tell me you were okay with the January 6th insurrection that was an act of domestic terrorism.
Please do not tell me you supported Donald Trump separating immigrant children from their families to just throw them into packed cages, with little in the way of water, food, and even the ability to take showers and wash their clothes and hair and brush their teeth.
As for what you said, saying how you pray that you will be reunited with the REAL Melissa, NOT the Autistic one when we reunite in heaven, hey, God chose to let me be born into my family as an Autistic Person, and he makes no mistakes. To imply he won’t let me into heaven as my autistic self is to say you don’t accept me, as who I AM.
Your whole letter really fucking hurt me. All of your letter was cruel, and not the sister I used to know.
The God I believe in is not GOP. Or white.
It has taken me all day to write this.
I don’t want to lose my sister. I love you forever, to the moon and back!
But I will not accept anymore of your doom and gloom preachy sermon proselytizing letters full of bigotry, hate and intolerance.
I hated them when you tried it years ago. And I asked you to stop doing it then.
Respect me, respect my boundaries, and trust me that I am confident in what I have come to believe in life, and that I will be reunited with you someday in heaven—as the full-on autistic me I am today.
I just wrote to you last night after getting an Easter letter from you that was a horrible poison pen letter.
It upset me deeply. It hurt deeply. It was uncalled for.
I could not sleep after reading your cruel letter, where you unleashed all hellfire and brimstone on me, that I did not ask for, or deserve. I was awake until 2 AM this morning, worried sick that I may now be going to go to hell when I die for being caring, kind, non-binary, queer, bi, pro-choice, Woke, Socialist, and Autistic.
I got only three hours of sleep last night….and then I broke out in stress hives all over my arms, legs and head.
Your letter was hardcore. I ripped it up.
When you tried to proselytize to me in past letters and emails, did I not write you back and explain exactly —in detail— how deeply it affects and traumatizes me to get those kinds of letters—- and WHY it traumatizes me, is because I am a victim of much in the way of church abuse???? Did I not request then that you stop sending me these types of letters? That I was just fine with my relationship with God and Jesus and my belief system…and I needed for you to respect that, and respect my boundaries?
I am a grown ass adult, sis. It’s taken years—decades—for me to finally learn to love who I am, as I am, and not as all of you in my family wanted me to be. That’s huge. Don’t take that away from me!
It has taken me decades to finally, after much growing and waking UP,—yes, I am woke—and proud of it— to come to the beliefs I now hold dear. Implying I’m not right with God because I no longer feel as though most of the Republican party are even human anymore, and that we live on stolen land, Turtle Island, and that I believe in full reproductive rights and freedoms, support Black Lives Matter, and happen to feel no one should starve, be houseless, cold, lonely, and live in a state of perpetual poverty, and that all access barriers need to be removed for us disabled folks—is short-sighted and not for you to judge.
My Bible tells me that in the end days, many will be led astray.
I truly feel this is what has happened with both the Tea Party movement and the white Christian nationalist Trumpian MAGA movement.
Please—-go back and read my blogs, the ones you say are so wrong and bad, and really read them with the heart I used to see beating in you that HAD compassion on me.
I wanna know–I really do—
Where is that sister who used to be so chill and cool to talk to, who understood and got me, who encouraged me to write my life story, and to not to leave anything out?
Where is that sister who said I would not BE Melissa without my autism?
Where is that sister who, when I first came out to you as bi-sexual, you understood and said you still loved and accepted me? And so does God! As I AM.
Where is that sister who had my BACK????
Where is my sister, and what did you do with her????
I miss getting the letters where you actually told me how you are doing, what you did, etc., and where I feel like you see and hear me. And more pictures too. I love the pictures you sent of you and your shiny hair!
Please, once and for all, stop sending me the fire and brimstone sermons and daily devotionals.
I have never appreciated being preached at, and I still don’t.
CW: Discussion of church, religion, Christianity. No worries, it is not a Bible thumpin’ post. It is me talking about my experiences in churches. And why I don’t go anymore.
Ima tell you all why I no longer go to church, why I no longer actually go into my bedroom to pray out loud from my heart, why I no longer listen to Christian rock or contemporary worship music—
—and why I now believe in God—on my own terms.
I do still pray, but I pray not just with words now—I pray several ways now—
by just conversating with my unseen God,
or I will pray with just key words,
or my vocal stims and sounds,
or my thoughts, body movements, and body positions.
I pray in my heart.
I pray this way because I am too tired and lacking the spoons anymore to form the long, detailed eloquent prayers I used to pray in my bedroom.
But I do still pray, inside.
I pray for everyone who I care about, I pray for my enemies, and I pray for our country and for this world.
Dialysis, and, well, my own personal lived experiences with my family, and then a long string of past caregivers and past friends who are now obviously ex-friends
—-plus my various church experiences—-
experiences which, altogether, have traumatized me so much that I now am left each and every single day, with a very limited spoon supply to get through each day, is why I don’t set myself any actual time schedule to go sit in my bedroom and compose long eloquent formal prayers anymore.
I talk to God and Jesus all the time, but I do it informally, as if I am talking to and confiding in a close friend. I pray as I watch TV, as I am on the dialysis machine, as I ride in Natalie’s and Connie’s cars, as I am just sitting her enjoying my music. I pray, all the time. I just don’t do it the conventional way anymore.
It was a culmination of one negative church experience after another negative church experience, after another, that turned me off, cold, on church and religion as an institution.
I simply do not do lists of do’s and don’t’s. I abhor any type of compliance-based therapies. I abhor authoritarianism. My neurology is not wired for it.
From the beginning, of me being born into a narrow-minded, bigoted racist Catholic family who did not accept me because of my autism….to all of the churches I was a part of where I got the “let’s befriend Melissa so we can change & fix her and lay hands on her and pray all of her autisms off of her” shit.
And when their praying don’t work, they throw me away and condemn me to hell.
Churches where I got the holy roller hellfire and damnation shit—of me being told not to listen to
Nine Inch Nails,
Red Hot Chili Peppers,
Guns & Roses,
or watch Beavis & Butthead anymore….and even the alternative group REM was thought to be sinful. Yeah….even REM.
I got told that if I watched and listened to certain TV shows and music that I would go to hell.
I got told that I HAD to forgive those I could NOT forgive, in order for me to be “set free”.
I literally got told that if I did not forgive those that hurt and traumatized me, that I could not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
They didn’t understand C-PTSD trauma at all, or mental illness, or neurodivergence.
C-PTSD trauma from decades under a family’s roof where I was taught that God was an angry God who was just like my always angry too-strict wrathful father. A God who was intolerant, unjust, unfair, disrespectful and cruel.
As far as I am concerned, church people still don’t get it. And many of those church people now embrace the even crueler Trumpified w-y-t-e Christian Nationalism movement now.
To me, forgiveness is a thing that happens when I can at least come to a place of being able to pray for that person who I
because of the nature of the trauma that person caused me.
Yes. I //can// at least pray for God’s mercy & grace, and pray for that person’s well-being.
But the pain of their cruelty, abuse, rejection
….Still Sits Inside Of Me.
The pain and hurt does not go away.
That’s how C-PTSD trauma works, folks.
Forgiveness is for those who come to me and are truly sorry and they make the effort to stop hurting me and start showing UP for me.
In the Southern Baptist church I went to from 1988 until 1992, I had a lady friend who liked to belittle, scold and shame me on the regular, and when I got my drivers license, she told me that God was going to blow my car’s engine up if I kept taking long drives up and down the 101 freeway instead of going to church every time the doors were open.
I had actual bullies in those churches who singled me out to pick on and intimidate me…I had one church lady falsely accuse me of being like serial killer Ted Bundy, for real, folks, and another church elder put me on notice that I was fucking demon possessed. Very scary shit to be told, right? And being told that kind of shit, has had a severe psychological effect on me.
Shit that has only added to my Complex PTSD trauma.
One cruel curly red-headed lady from a Charismatic church I went to in 1994, (the same church where I got nicknamed Ted Bundy and got told I was demon possessed) tried her hardest to get me kicked out of a Christian singles group I was in in Arroyo Grande, where I WAS happy, where I DID have a small circle of friends who DID support and have my back.
Actually, it was the singles group where I was actually at my happiest, — that was, until some uppity cliques formed that began excluding me….yeah, I left that group after that shit started…..because that’s the kind of very painful shit I had to endure when I was in school. I wasn’t here for it anymore as an adult.
In 2011, the last church I tried to become a part of—outright rejected me, blocked me off of their Facebook page, removed me from their email list, all because I wanted to form the same kind of friendships like I had in the Christian singles group, and I wanted the church’s pastor to just help me to be able to better understand how to use my then new iPhone 4 that I got, through Verizon Wireless so I could take pictures and videos and have my music all on one device.
He promised me he would help me with my then new iPhone if I came to their service the next Sunday night.
I showed up that next Sunday night, but he gave a sermon where he suddenly broke down crying, and then he walked out to never return again that night.
I spent the end of that service trying to get other church goers to help me, and instead they all laughed at me and made fun of me. Hurt and angry, I went in the back to where they had snacks set out, and ate all of the brownie bites I could, and then I left, screeching my tires in their uppity parking lot, vowing to never darken theirs, or anymore uppity self righteous church doorways.
When I tried to get that pastor to reschedule the iPhone learning session,
—and yes, I did post my appeal for his support, and to gain friends, on their Facebook page— this man suddenly—-out of the fucking blue—-
—accused me of asking for plane tickets for a European trip, and being rude to church members on their Facebook page, and so I found myself suddenly banned from both their Facebook page and email list.
I kept wondering why I suddenly couldn’t comment on their Facebook page anymore. It wasn’t until I personally emailed that pastor, that he emailed me back, unleashing so much hate towards me, that I knew what had happened. He had somehow gotten it in his head that I was a monster who did all those things he said I did…..
I had some of my Facebook friends email him, to explain that I was not the kind of person who would go onto Facebook pages to post mean comments and ask for plane tickets to Europe.
They explained to him I just wanted new friends to hang out with and to be a support system to me. I did talk about my life goals and dreams, that I do remember doing, but I never asked for any plane tickets to Europe. And I wasn’t rude either.
He was asked by my friends, to produce screen shots as proof of his accusations, and he could not produce ANY proof—-because I did not do the things he was accusing me of.
I looked that church up on Yelp years later on to find that many others have also lodged bad reviews of him and his church. I now feel the reason he left his former church as their youth pastor, to start his new church, was because they had problems with him there too. And either they may of asked him to resign, or they fired him. I don’t know, I am guesstimating.
I have always sought to know God and Jesus, but too many roadblocks and church people’s bigotry and hatred, and now Trumpism, have turned me off, cold, from ever wanting to darken the doorway of anymore churches.
Why am I writing about this today?
Because when I went to check my three email accounts this morning, when I got to my Yahoo account, I saw the folder I had made for that church, and clicked on it to see the hurtful email I got from the nice, youth-oriented church where it was THEM who unsubscribed me from their email list, not ME.
If you believe in God and go to church, ANY church, it does not give you the right to play judge and jury with the people who come to you seeking God with all of their heart, like I was doing. It does not give you the right to police what music we listen to, what political party we are affiliated with, what we do in our bedrooms, who we love, who we have sex with, who we identify as.
I am not done here. I need to go eat, and then I can finish….so I will see you later. Because this will be a blog.
I am back.
But hey, people….church is supposed to be a hospital for the sick and hurting….and does Matthew 25 not say, over and over again, in Jesus’s own words for us to:
Warmly welcome the immigrants, refugees and strangers.
Give water to those who thirst.
Take tender care of those who are widowed, weak, and orphaned.
Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
For I was thirsty and you gave me a cold cup of water to drink.
For I was hungry and you gave me a delicious hot meal to eat.
For I was houseless and you gave me shelter.
For I was alone and you came and sat with me and then you walked with me.
For I was naked and you clothed me.
I only got that in my Christian singles group, until the cliques took it over.
Catholicism didn’t do it for me. with their strict confess your sins to a priest in a dark cold cubicle, forced communion, and their endless guilt, fear and penance narrative.
The Southern Baptist church threw me to the curb when I stopped coming that often, and began to prefer my long drives over their hellfire and damnation message and old tired hymns.
The charismatic church threw me out when I joined one of their weekly support groups and confided way too much to the wrong people, and suddenly I became Ted Bundy 2.0, and I had a demon residing within my being.
I went to one more church, another charismatic church, where I found my singles group….and then I went to one more nice church where I was mostly happy, until their youth pastor left and started the young at heart church where I got burned at the stake so bad, I have not been back to ANY more churches since.
Moral of the story?
Don’t put your trust in a church building, or its people to help you, to support you, to give you the love, and companionship and validation you are seeking.
Where you find the kinds of people who will:
laugh with you,
be with you through darkness and light,
who will embrace you,
who will make you feel seen, heard, and validated,
who will have your back,
who you know you feel safe with,
who are honest, who won’t lie to you and steal from you,
It is there where you will find God. God’s love. And peace.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. First of all, for the six human beings who got senselessly slaughtered at a Christian school in Nashville Tennessee a week ago.
This Easter Sunday I weep…. Three children got killed in that school shooting and the other three were the adult staff members of that school.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. Because half of our government still seem to not care. They seem to want everyone to be allowed to carry the very weapons that are designed to specifically murder People!
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. For all of those who have lost family members, friends, and neighbors to one mass shooting after another mass shooting after another mass shooting. Only in America does this happen. Because of America’s love affair with guns that kill.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. For the two charismatic young Black representatives in Tennessee’s House, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, who got expelled from their state Congressional seats for standing UP to their Republican counterparts about sensible gun safety, because they care that children and adults are still being needlessly slaughtered…and they care that three children just got murdered, by yet another AR-15.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. That our government would rather appease the gun lobby than do the hard work to see to it that no more people are unalived by an AR-15 as they go to work, school, enjoy a parade, go grocery shopping, or go to a movie.
This Easter Sunday, I weep… Because no child should feel as if going to school is their death sentence. Or that if we dare go to the mall, we may not return home.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. For all of the women, men, trans women, trans men and queer, non-binary folks who will no longer get gender affirming care, and reproductive health care, because there are those in our government who want to control us in our bedrooms, doctor’s offices and who we love, marry, and have sex with.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. That in states like Idaho, they are actually now making it a felony for adults to help a minor to cross state lines to get the gender affirming or reproductive healthcare that they have every right to seek….that they are no longer free to seek in their own hometowns.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. For all who are starving, houseless, and desperate just to get through one day, just one fucking DAY day without fear, stress, and worry.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. For all for whom the true message of love, unconditional love, has been lost to cold harsh greedy AF capitalist cruelty.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. For the hearts that are growing even harder and colder and even more brazenly cruel towards the human suffering and carnage that one faction of our political force seems hell-bent on unleashing upon us….more in the way of poverty, fear, more mass killings, more division, more chaos, more unrest, more darkness and more despair.
And more corruption.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. Never-ending tears, because I know we can stop these killings, we can stamp out hunger and poverty and loneliness and despair.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. Because people in control choose not to dismantle all of the tired old systems that never worked in the first place, so we can change any of this.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. Because until it happens to you—and the chances are very good that it can and will eventually hit home—you simply aren’t going to give even one tiny single fuck about how your cruelty is already affecting people.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. Because of the bondage we are in because you who refuse to act and work to change these things.
This Easter Sunday, I weep…. Because I KNOW JESUS is also weeping. ~~Matthew 25. Go on, read it.
Monday morning update: I woke up just to use the bathroom at 7:30 this morning, to …… yet another act of gun violence being reported on the news on my TV.
This one, in Louisville Kentucky at a bank. 4 dead, 8 injured, including one of the police officers on scene.
I cannot get back to sleep, obviously.
This fucking needs to stop happening, and our damn Congress CAN make it stop happening. Yes. They CAN.