Queer crip guest post on COVID-19: The Fury Glowing in My Body
"Managing in a crisis when the odds are stacked against us is our fucking wheelhouse."
[Image description: square avitar of a cute non-binary queer with big green eyes, black rim glasses, flower in brown hair, earring, kerchief around neck, purple t-shirt with a yellow, white, pink and black-striped button for non-binary pride. On the top right in script letters it says Type 1 Tired with a blue and gray ribbon next to it.]
Sully Carmona is my partner who is living with Type 1 diabetes and a seizure condition and some other stuff. They are brilliant neurodivergent queer crip and I love them. And this is what they wrote and posted on social media today (I copy-edited it a bit because, well, I’m an editor.)
“Last night leaking into this morning, I finally began to fully feel my GRIEF and let it take hold. I’m very practiced at NOT thinking about this sort of thing, seeing as I’ve been dealing with medical uncertainties since the age of 11, and honestly it’s been a SOLID survival strategy being able to separate the emotional what-ifs from the present need, to only think about getting better, about surviving.
But hey, I’m not keeping it in anymore! I got some grief— it’s ready to come the fuck out!
It’s been hiding under layers.
It’s been packaged as not being able to sit still, can’t stop/won’t stop cleaning/prepping/checking in, being sucked into writing and engaging on the internet, seeking connections with those in similar positions.
It’s looked like rage
I’ve felt the fury glowing in my body, making me feel righteous and invincible (which is far from true)
it’s looked like feeling proud to be a queer crip in these times.
Managing in a crisis when the odds are stacked against us is our fucking wheelhouse.
It wasn’t our choice to have to develop these skills, it’s the result of how the world has (not) taken care of us.
We have learned how to get by and survive. Our skin gets thicker, our boundaries get better, communicating our needs becomes easier (or you notice/don't notice when we disappear from places we are not fully loved).
I see you fam.
*I couldn’t have said this before but I think it’s important to let my fears be real to move through them.*
I’m worried about how many people I love will die. And who’s it gonna be? How? Is it because there won’t be the equipment needed to save their lives? Will it because they are scared to go to the hospital because something else will kill them there? Is it because people run out of medication? Because they won’t want to burden those around them with their real needs?
I’m worried about how privilege is going to affect who lives and who dies and what our communities are going to look like after COVID-19 has run its course. This is going to kill off the most vulnerable with the least access to resources. Are you surprised who’s getting fucked over?
I’m worried about who’s gonna give up. Who has really just had it with the constellation of fucked-up shit they have to deal with already, and are rightfully tired as fuck! This is just the final blow.
I’m worried about the people who are assuming they will get infected and that they will die, because they won’t have access to healthcare. Those that don't have people who will care for them and don't want to impose risk on other crips (we are used to helping each other).
This thing is EVERYWHERE.
I’m officially tired of being mad about the last few weeks. Now I’m just sad and scared.
*Now, how do we grapple with this feeling of total uncertainty who we’re gonna lose and how much notice we’ll have to say goodbye??*
I am dealing with a lot of the same feelings, paired with the ever-present pressure (internal & external) to present a stoic front despite the shitstorm. I feel especially angry at my friends who are STILL downplaying this - or worse, acting like they’re somehow the good guys for refusing to cancel their absolutely non-essential in-person group activities because they’re ‘there for the community.’ Meanwhile they’re potentially adding to the community spread that is seriously dangerous for some of us. I guess some people in the community matter more than others. Ughhhh.
This definitely isn’t new, but it does feel particularly intense for me at the moment. Add to it the already-challenging isolation that had me in a hole I was trying to climb out of and the screaming voice in my head telling me I’m powerless, worthless, and solely a drain on resources... it ain’t pretty. Honestly, I would really love to focus on supporting someone else right now because I need to get out of my head. Sorry for the rant... been hanging onto this stuff for a minute.
Thank you for being willing to share your experience with us, Sully. It’s really nice to remember we aren’t alone.
Love you Sully!