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The Anger Series, Post 3: Let’s Get Personal

This is part 3 of a 4-part series on anger, a thing most people with disabilities deal with to some extent. Disability often means loss, and anger is part of the normal grieving process. There may also be frustration from new limitations, and resentment if the disability was inflicted by someone else (for example, a young man hit me on my bicycle). Two weeks ago I introduced the topic with how the anger of disabled people is handled in the entertainment world https://blogs.psychcentral.com/hidden-disabilities/2018/09/the-anger-series-post-1-tv-and-movie-tropes/. Last week I talked about the different ways people handle anger https://blogs.psychcentral.com/hidden-disabilities/2018/10/the-anger-series-post-2-whats-your-anger-style/. This week I’ll talk about my own anger and invite you to talk about yours, and finally, next week, I’ll move beyond anger to a theme of reinvention.


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The Anger Series, Post 2: What’s Your Anger Style?

This is part 2 of a 4-part series on anger, a thing most people with disabilities deal with to some extent. Disability often means loss, and anger is part of the normal grieving process. There may also be frustration from new limitations, and resentment if the disability was inflicted by someone else (for example, a drunk driver). Many people have anger toward God for allowing this to happen. Last week I introduced the topic of disability-related anger with how it’s handled in the entertainment world.  https://blogs.psychcentral.com/hidden-disabilities/2018/09/the-anger-series-post-1-tv-and-movie-tropes/  This week I talk about the different ways this anger manifests in different people.


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The Anger Series, Post 1: TV and Movie Tropes

Wow, try tackling anger in a single post. Our blogs are supposed to be short pithy reads, no more than 1,000 words. I ramble over my limit about a third of the time. This topic will take several weeks to cover, even with it narrowed down to the anger experienced by people with disabilities over their condition. I’ll start with the way it’s handled in movies and on TV, because that’s a reflection of society’s perceptions, and a good way to warm up to the subject. Then we'll move on to how different people have different relationships with anger, depending on a variety of factors. Next, I’ll talk about my own anger in the hope that it strikes a chord with some of you, and invite you to talk about yours. There will be a fourth capstone post about moving past anger to self-reinvention.


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Parsed Heat: Going Off Script With Castle


I have to admit it, writing this is going to be fun. I love Castle. I know, the last season was weak because of the contrived conflict to keep the show going after Castle got the girl. I love it anyway. Castle makes me laugh out loud often, and not many shows do that. Lucy the smart-house speaker was my favorite character in Season 8. My apologies if you haven’t seen the show—stick with me because...


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To Everything There is a Season

Friends, there are 9 days left in summer. Social media is already buzzing with autumn memes celebrating the beginning dark half of the year. I can’t help but think, what’s wrong with you people? Sure, I like crisp air, colored leaves, apples and pumpkin spice, but I think of them as Mother Nature luring us with candy before chaining us to a radiator in the basement for 4 months. I take the treats warily, knowing that rejecting them won’t save me from winter forcing a hood over my head and stuffing me into a windowless van.


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It’s the Little Things: Pain in Daily Interactions

Yesterday I realized something about my standing-too-long injuries. Most of them don’t happen in big events like the VegExpo I went to last spring. Most of them happen in daily interactions with regular people. I’d been cooped up in the house too long and had just dumped my cat, Timbits, from my lap. Timbits is 19 pounds of muscled tomcat, my chunka chunka burnin’ love. Timbits doesn’t understand my knee injury. He loves sitting in the groove of my legs when I’m leaned back in the recliner. Unlike his predecessor, Nimby, who was tuned into my comfort, Timbits is oblivious to the fact that he’s causing me pain. Every once in a while he shifts his weight and digs his elbows into my knees. He’s a needy boy and I try to indulge him for a few minutes before I dump him off my lap. I decided to take him outside for a walk to assure him that I was only rejecting his position on my legs, not him.


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Emigrating to Canada? With a Pre-Existing Condition, Maybe Not.

RCMP Musical Ride, Parksville, BC, 21 August 2018

Friends, I’ve had a rough week. An incredible high followed by a crash. I’ll share it with you because I found out something interesting and relevant as a result.

I’ve dreamed of living in a tiny house for years now. I spent my 51st birthday weekend at a Tumbleweed workshop in Vancouver. It’s not practical to try to build it myself; with my physical issues, I’m not...


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Readers’ Choice: Standing in Line

The response to last week’s post showed that it really hit a nerve. Many of you mentioned standing in line as a problem too, and when that many of you mention it, it means it’s time to talk about it. Standing in line is one of my many downfalls too. It was bad enough before my knee injury, when all I had was 3 healed spinal fractures with heavy nerve damage around the upper one. Oddly, my lower back pain improved a lot after the sacral fracture. It displaced slightly and my body is happier with the new layout. The upper fractures, though, seize up suddenly after a long wait in line. I call it “The Clamp,” and only prescription pain medicine will even touch the sides.


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Excluded From the Table: Ableism in Restaurant Seating

When discussing restaurant seating for singles on Community of Single People (the online group I belong to), it occurred to me that it’s an intersectional issue. Solo diners are typically made to sit at counters on high stools, often with no back. Many solo diners are older; it’s not just young people they’re relegating to the cheap seats. In one local lunch café a few years ago, I sat in a booth and was asked to move to the counter because they anticipated a lunch rush within the half hour. I said I was sorry, but that was a deal breaker. I have two healed spinal fractures, and spending half an hour hunched on a stool at the counter wasn’t going to happen. I asked them to cancel my order. They let me stay at the table.


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I Survived a Weekend Conference!

You would think it would be easier, not harder, to write a column after a weekend spent at a writers’ conference. I was trying to extract a larger point to write about from my weekend, but I’m a storyteller. I do much better making points with my actual story than by trying to step outside it and generalize to the world. I think readers prefer a personal story too. I know I do. I’ve had trouble with big events recently and I finally had one go well, or at least not disastrously. It can be as useful to analyze what went right as what went wrong. Maybe you’ll pick up some tips for managing your own big events.