I’ve always had a very clear vision for TSU. And, when I say always, I mean, since I was about twelve years old I’ve at least had a feeling of what I want.
That small twelve year old child who was relentlessly bulled by teachers, students and family members wanted a world where they would be safe. The one place in existence where being what they were wasn’t hated or cause for suffering.
And as I grew, that vision broadened to creating something where everyone could find sanctuary from the really crappy world. Then, what I wanted was to create such a big fictional universe where everyone could fit, where writers and artists and creators could create within their own pocket of TSU and earn enough to live as well (without “stealing” from me). Further more, I wanted it to be so big, that I’d earn so much money that I could change the world… that I could travel the world and reach out to the lost and broken and alone, and give them jobs, give them funds to reach their dreams… I wanted to earn enough money to reach out across the world and ease the suffering of everyone like me, everyone trapped by oppression and societal bigotry, and set them free.
I reached this point at about 2000. Actually I can tell you the moment this dream became a clear reality in my head. I was sitting in a movie theatre watching the first scene of the Matrix, where Trinity kicks Agent ASS, and for the entirety of that scene, I was watching Jaola Armon kicking Agent ass and not someone else’s character. I knew in that moment that I had to work hard to get my vision, no matter the cost.
Now, add fifteen years of focused, controlled, determined progress and learning and writing and internal growth…. (and about four breakdowns, and three times of chronic abject suicidal ideation)…
And what do I have to show for all of that work? I have two published books, a pretty involved website network, four more books on the go, and about a hundred “fans”. But… I’m still trapped by poverty, illness, and bigotry… and I am currently still unable to financially help others.
I was supposed to be famous by now. Living off my writing instead of the NZ version of Disability. I was supposed to be travelling the world promoting TSU at different cons and doing panels about my books and characters, and helping people in realistic and sustainable ways to get out of their personal traps to freedom.
In my personal life, I’m still stuck. I’ve still got people telling me that if I just work harder I’ll succeed (and I actually can’t work any harder than I am without permanently affecting my health). I’ve still got people telling me that my dreams and stories are delusional, that my opinions and choices in life are invalid because I suffer from mental health issues. I’ve still got people telling me that I should just “get over” the PTSD, and put some effort into being “normal”. I’ve still got society telling me that because I’m on a governmental benefit that I have absolutely no value, certainly not enough to qualify for any financial help to launch my business. I’ve still got the health system focused solely on my weight and not being bothered to give me any other kind of medical care until I’m at a “healthy” weight (and not actually helping me figure out what’s blocking the weightloss… I’m apparently just not trying hard enough…).
And I’m tired.
I have no idea how to get out of this trap. (And don’t you dare put on that condescending voice that everyone uses and say “just work harder” or “weightloss is simple, eat less, move more”. If it was that simple I would have been successful ten years ago. It’s not about effort any more. What’s wrong is I live in a society that oppresses me from multiple angles, and what I actually need is sustain and targeted help. I need more money, I need better healthcare, and I need a special gym for those with disabilities where I can train and get help to train within my specific limitations. I need a health system that will actually help me. I need sponsorship and assistance. But our society, at least here in NZ doesn’t care enough to help. I don’t fit the mould for a “good productive, young, skinny, white, cis-het citizen” so therefore I’m not worth the effort. Just a loser and they’re waiting for me to get on with it and die, or give up and become gray like many of the others on different government benefits.
The thing is, society doesn’t know how strong I am. How determined… how… my gut response to an authority telling me I’m not good enough is respond with anger and defiance. Screw you society. Screw YOU!
The truth is, as long as I have breath and I can still type, I’m going to keep writing books, and I’m going to keep trying to build my future. But I’ve also reached a point where I understand that if I’m going to succeed and still be young enough (or alive) to enjoy the fruits of my life-long labour, I’m really actually going to need help. I do not have the resources on my own to do it.
I don’t really know what my conclusion is for this blog post, I’ve stared at this last paragraph for about ten minutes trying to figure out what the conclusion/summary of my point should be… maybe I just wanted to tell the silent internet world where I’m at. Maybe I have no point, other than “gods damnit, won’t someone offer me an option that I can realistically take towards success?” A path that isn’t ageist, or ableist or racist or classist or fatphobic or transphobic or heteronormative or… any of the other bigotries holding me in place… someone… give me a realistic path to follow to get me out of this hole because, damnit, I’m determined enough to do anything I can to get through… but I can’t help my physical, financial, and psychological limitations. I can’t just “cure” the PTSD. I can’t “cure” my fucked back. I can’t just “cure” the fibro, or the ridiculous memory problems. And I certainly WON’T “cure” my lack of fitting into the so-called “mainstream”.