>Consider yourselves told

>I put two things on this website lately and forgot to post notices about them. So consider yourselves informed that

1) I made a “music video” of some of my photos from Madrid. You can watch it here

2) I haven’t finished posting my old works to this site (almost there) but I am currently doing a writing challenge and feeling very creative. I set myself up a creative writing blog and any new pieces will go there not here. To visit, go to Creatively Emma. I’ve been pretty productive over the last few days in that blog!

>No More Miss Nice Cripple

>If anyone is wondering why my personal status message on MSN is currently “You better hide, you better run ‘coz I feel like killing someone”

Disablism strikes again.

F***ing B**tards (minor aside, if the kids who live above me with their parents have learnt anything from living in the flat above me it’s probably how to say that phrase with feeling).

But hey at least time whilst I realise that this is related to the fact it’s been arranged by people who just didn’t think, I don’t care and I don’t find that acceptable. They’ve had enough reminders when they’ve organised other social events.

No more Miss Nice Cripple

RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR

>Two of my poems – “CP Rocks” and “Just Trying”

>I’m working on a poetry challenge at the moment and so I’ve written quite a few over the weekend. I’m also atttempting to master Haiku’s but that’s not as easy as it looks!

At some point soon I’m going to set up a part of this webspace for my poetry and essays and other non blog writings. I’m hoping that somepoint soon will translate into today or tomorrow but I have a lot of stuff to get done so no promises.

But for now I thought I would share my two favourites of all of the poems I’ve written.

The first, CP Rocks was inspired by a list a friend made of 101 reasons why CP Rocks. That line stuck with me for weeks until I wrote the poem. I wrote it in December 2002 sat in the kitchen in my halls of residence at university.

CP ROCKS!

I have CP
So what?
Who gives a shit?
Please see me,
Don’t see it.

CP is just a part of my life
Although it sometimes causes me strife
I am me,
I am who I want to be

My name is Emma
And this is my dilemma
How can I show
Who I am?
How can I show
The real me
When all they see is CP?

When people see me they see a wheelchair
And miss the girl with the crazy hair
They see someone who they pity
And miss Emma who is quite witty

I love to sit at the top of a hill
And roll right down,
Receive a thrill
My own free rollercoaster,
It’s really brill
And never makes me ill!

But without my wheels,
Or my walker (made of steel)
I would be “normal”
And idea which to me
Is quite awful

I think walking is overrated
And what really leaves me frustrated
Is how society doesn’t like me
Just because I have CP

Is it really so bad?
I for one and very glad
There’s no need to be sad for me,
I’ve even been on TV!

I’ll tell you all about me
There’s more then what you can see.
I’m the girl at university
Living all alone
Far from home

I’m always on the phone to friends,
Driving them around the bend.
Saying lets go here,
Lets go there
For I will go anywhere
Looking for fun that never ends

Going out – CP makes it even better
(Except in really crappy weather)
no lines in which to wait.
And something that is really great
And scares those who pretend to care
Is when I show my wicked streak
Stand up and make those idiots freak.

For the girl listening to the band
In that front seat,
She cannot stand,
She cannot speak.

This they know without a doubt
So watch those losers now freak out
Because that girl with CP
Just happens to be me

And I can,
Its part of who I am!
I may not be able to ride a bike
But I can stand whenever I like
I may struggle to walk
But I sure can talk!

This is my message,
Black and white
Hear me shout:
“I LOVE MY LIFE!!”

Yes, it is true
I don’t feel blue
I don’t want a cure,
For how would I be me
If I didn’t have CP?

This poem is about to end
Its about a girl who wants to be your friend

Its about a girl who knows how to cope.
Its about Em who is full of hope!

I know this poem is full of shocks
Hope I’ve shown how much CP ROCKS!!

Emma ~ December 2002

The second poem is called “Just Trying” and is one I wrote back in October last year… To be specific I think I wrote it on the 16th but I can’t find it on my old blog to confirm that.

Just Trying
I’m just trying
To be me
So much more than
The girl they see

I might have this thing
They call CP
But that isn’t
What defines me.

I am different from you
But I think I have it best
I need a wheelchair and always will.

Now I am different
But eventually
You will be
The same as me.

Thanks to the great equaliser called life
One day you too will experience this kind of strife

When you are old
You will understand what you’ve been told

But for now
I will try and explain it somehow.
Yet it is difficult to show
That which I innately know.

I have to spend
My life of wheels
My CP will never end.

I can live with it
Or long to be without it
The choice is mine
To be made with help divine.

When I was a child
I wanted to die
Life with CP
Seemed too much for me.

Time heals
What was once a punishment
Isn’t any longer
Instead it makes me stronger.

If when you get old
Your health time steals
And you must spend your life on wheels.
Remember what you have been told.

Hold your head up high
It will become normal as time flies by
As you learn how to cope
Don’t lose hope.

I’m just trying to be me.
Can’t you see?
Being me
Happens to include
This thing called CP.

Emma ~ 16th October 2005

>Random as a random thing!

>I slept all morning and am intending to take it very easy today… we’re having something of a Spoon shortage this week and any and all donations will be welcomed with open arms.

Something cool (disability awareness related) might have happened… keep your fingers crossed and as soon as I know, you will know. I won’t be at all surprised if it turns out it hasn’t but very very pleased if it has. Cryptic, I know but it has to be that way for now.

Does anyone know anything about the “golden tickets” thing for big brother that kit kats are doing. I don’t like kit kats and I DO NOT want into that house… but from what little I’ve seen (I’ve been half watching it) I hope from one point of view they get stuck with a wheelchair user or someone with some other form of disability because that would cause issues which would work wonders for disability awareness. But then from another point of view I hope they don’t because those housemates are so clueless and almost horrible (except Pete).

Oh wow, BE radio is playng the best song ever.

a random photo of penguins I took on Thursday:
Ppppppick up a penguin

>In which I go from Blog Explosion Tenants, to Gender, to Carers, to Sexual Harrassment and Abuse.

>I decided it was time to dip back into Rent My Blog after a week off from the programme. And this week’s tenant is Winsome Gunning Art Walk. An artist who posts images of their work and an explaination of what it’s all about… their inspiration.

The art work is amazing to look at and the explanations are informative and make you think too! Check it out!

This entry is my attempt at not using any gender specific words to describe my tenant after my mess up with thinking that Battlerocker, my first tenant, was a woman when in fact, he’s a man. Let’s hope I’m successful.

OK, random question. Do you think Gender really matters? Or are the ideas of “girls stuff” and “boys stuff” so to speak nothing more than baseless stereotypes of our society?

Obviously in olden days there was more of a need for clear definition between the sexes and their tasks/expectations. But in the technological age we are at now can we really still define things are “boys toys” and “girls toys” as a job that’s only suitable for a man etc. etc.

I think we can, but only because society has conditioned us to make us believe that nothing other than that is acceptable.

For example, I have always been told that male carers cannot do anything along the lines of personal care for me because as a woman it would put me in danger. So when I was at uni my male carers were not allowed to shower me, help me in the loo or help me put on socks and shoes. I did used to get them to do my clothes washing for me but I have a friend who refused to allow guys to do that for her as it made her uncomfortable.

We do have a male volunteer at swimming who often helps me with my shoes and manuevering around the shower – I sit in a showerchair and he gets me sat in the shower and puts it on and off for me and turns me so i can rinse off different parts. He often ends up washing my hair for me too as he sees bits I’ve missed. I’m completely fine with that. But if I still had help with showering (most of the time I don’t) at home I would not be fine with a man helping in that situation. I know a few people who would accept that help but for me the fact is I’ve always been taught or conditioned always that it is TOO DANGEROUS to get a man to do that, that is a woman’s job is too much to overcome.

It’s a bit screwed up though because I have had personal care done by carers who were openly lesbian and been fine with that and surely if my care agency at the time couldn’t allow my male carers to do personal care because of the risk, the risk should have been acknowledged with my lesbian carers too?

Yet women are allowed to shower and to do other personal care for male clients… I’ve even heard talk from some agencies about considering only allowing male carers to do personal care on male clients with a female carer in attendance as well for the protection of the client.

It’s madness. I realise that these rules are put into place to protect the carer from untrue accusations of sexual harrassment/abuse as well as to protect the client, but sexual abuse and harrassment are not solely the acts of men. Male rape isn’t talked about often and I’d like to think that the CRB checks that all carers undergo means that NO client would be in that situation, but the fact of the matter is a man is just as likely to be raped as a woman. Plus same gender sexual harrassment happens too.

So basically I have no idea where the hell this entry came from but I think society’s idea of gender roles/constructs are worthless.

And everyone reading this should go visit my tenant whilst I shut up (and maybe go get subway for dinner now the rain has stopped).

>It doesn’t have me.

>I’ve been reading some of my favourite inspirational writings this evening and then I felt led to write somethng similar myself. I had intended to write something along the lines of To You, My Sisters by Maureen K Higgins but then I re-read Challenged by Leslie W Ortega which is probably my favourite disability related poem (I also love My New Set of Wheels by Darlene Uggen probably just as much) and ended up writing a poem which might not be that similar to “Challenged” but is meant to show a similar idea/lesson. I hope you like it.


It Doesn’t Have Me


People say I am brave
That’s not how I see myself
I’m simply trying
Not to spend my life on the shelf.

Then they say I am inspirational
But I’m not that way at all
I’m simply trying
To keep on battling through

Life can be tough
The road may be rough
That is true for me
Just as it is for you too.

Having CP
Just makes me
A little different
It doesn’t make me stronger than you
For you face your own struggles too.

Life is what it is
And this is mine
It’s no big deal
No matter how you think I should feel

I do what I have to
Just like you

The only difference is
It’s hard for people to see
I am not CP
I am me.
Look past “the worst thing you could imagine”
And remember that
I have CP
It doesn’t have me

By Emma ~ 26 May 2006

>Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Photos Taken During Emma’s Trip to Madrid

>

Thirteen Photos Taken During My Weekend In Madrid

As with all photos on this blog, click on the thumbnail to view larger

1…. My Sunglasses after I fell out of my wheelchair and landed face first:
My poor sunglasses :o(... at least it's not my face!

2….. Kat and I at dinner on Friday Night. We had yummy chicken and even yummier Sangria.
Not quite a liquid dinner... but almost!

3…. Kat and Alfredo, her housemate. I can’t remember what the thing they are standing in front of is called but it looks kinda like the Arc D’Triumphe in Paris.
Kat and Alfredo

4…. The lake in the Retiro (main park in Madrid), Friday Afternoon
Retiro

5…. Close up on The Bear Statue in Puerta Del Sol
Bear Statue

6…. Drinking Sangria a couple of hours after my accident… you can see the bruising around my eyes. That was the coolest bar, we had the Opera House to our left and the Royal Palace directly opposite us.
Sore bruises but yummy Sangria!

7…. Atocha, the ONE place I really wanted to see and the one I didn’t get to see as it’s where I had my accident.
Can't comment on the rest of the place but it has a nice first aid room!

8…We could get so close to the Royal Palace that I was actually touching it!
One would not be allowed to do this by our Queen

9… Inside the Royal Pharmacy during our tour of the Palace on Sunday afternoon (these photos aren’t very clear as you weren’t allowed to use a flash)
Shiny pretty pharmacy

10…. Taken from the viewpoint in the courtyard at the Royal Palace.
Would you LOOK at that VIEW?!

11… Outside my Hotel
Petit Palace Arenal

12… The Spanish Opera House
Opera

13…. Part of a mural painting on the ceiling in one of the rooms in the Palace. I forget which room as several of them had murals on the ceiling.
Angel and Cherub mural

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>That’s Who I Am

>

If I live to be a hundred
and never see the seven wonders
that’ll be alright
If I don’t make it to the big leagues
If I never win a grammy
I’m gonna be just fine
Cause I know exactly who I am

Chorus:
I am Rosemary’s granddaughter
the spitting image of my father
and when the day is done
my momma’s still my biggest fan
Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
but I’ve got friends that love me
and they know just where I stand
It’s all a part of me
and that’s who I am

Verse 2:
So when I make a big mistake
when I fall flat on my face
I know I’ll be alright
Should my tender heart be broken
I will cry those teardrops knowin’
I will be just fine
’cause nothin’ changes who I am

Chorus:
I am Rosemary’s granddaughter
the spitting image of my father
and when the day is done
my momma’s still my biggest fan
Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
but I’ve got friends that love me
and they know just where I stand
It’s all a part of me
and that’s who I am

Bridge:
I’m a saint and I’m a sinner
I’m a loser I’m a winner
I am steady and unstable
I am young but I am able

Chorus:
I am Rosemary’s granddaughter
the spitting image of my father
and when the day is done
my momma’s still my biggest fan
Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
but I’ve got friends that love me
and they know where I stand
It’s all a part of me
and that’s who I am

(Repeat Chorus)

That’s who I am

~ Jessica Andrews, Who I Am.

Do you know exactly who you are? I don’t know exactly who I am. I’m learning though. And I’ve come to realise that things might be tough, they might make me want to scream and I might end up feeling like the world as I know it is ending. And that’s OK. I’m strong, I’m tough, I’m cool, I’m me. I’m Emma.

I don’t need to do it independently though, I can ask for help and that’s ok. That’s a concept I’m just now trying to come to terms with. It’s a tough one too.

A change in my circumstances wouldn’t change who I am. It might change me a little bit but it wouldn’t be this miracle cure. It wouldn’t make me happy or more fulfilled, thinner or better looking or less disorganised or any of a hundred things.

Who am I? Gladys’ Granddaughter, Ken’s Granddaughter, Henry’s Granddaughter, Jean’s Granddaughter. A girl with CP, a girl who loves to laugh but who has spent the past three or so years battling depression and hasn’t laughed as much as she would like as a result. I am a CAB adviser, a writer, a swimmer, a lazy person and someone who wonders just what the hell she’s doing wiith her life. A girl who fell out of her wheelchair at the weekend who has a sore nose as a result. Someone who will never climb Mount Everest but who has and will do any of a million other things instead.

That’s Who I Am.

No matter what I do, where I go, what happens to me or who is in my life, I am Emma. And nothing can change that.

>I don’t particularly like to fly. I’ve flown lots (including to Australia and back) but I’m not that fussed on it. I hadn’t flown in over three years and it was the first time I’d ever flown by myself. I tend to get nervous before I fly and so you can imagine quite how nervous I was before flying out on Thursday!

I threw up before we left for Gatwick and was sat in the check in queue with tears streaming down my face feeling like I’d be sick. My Dad asked me if I wanted to go home and I said No, I wanted to go. He seemed a little stressy with me and really I can’t blame him. After a lot of fuss they found someone to take me through security and down to the gate – originally they tried to say that my Dad would have to take me to security and attempt to talk the security guards into letting him come thru security and taking me to the gate.

As soon as the guy was with me (he was lovely) he took me straight to the gate and pretty much straight onto the plane. I calmed down while I was with him and he had me laughing when he pointed out that one of the buggies they use to move people around the airport was going round with a tire that nearly fell off every time the wheel moved. But when I got to the plane I started crying again.

The cabin crew were great (and I was lucky enough to have the same head steward flying back and to know that ahead of time) and got me tissues, talked to me a little and then checked on me regularly during the flight to see if I needed anything etc. I soon calmed down. The head steward guy was really funny too which helped a lot I think.

I was sat in a window seat (I sat in the window on both flights) and strangely I enjoyed looking down. When we flew over Jersey it was really beautiful and I wished I’d had my camera out. I also bought a bottle of the limited edition CK One Summer and read an entire book during the flight (Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom – it’s a true story and it was so powerful. I intend to read it again soon).

When we were racing along the runway and then I felt the wheels leave the ground and us lift off I was so happy. I just wanted to scream “I did it! I did it!”

I learnt a lot during my time in Madrid. About myself, who I am and what I can accomplish if I truly want to do it, believe I can do it and put my mind to it.

My accident was the worst thing tht happened out there but there were several other little mini “adventures” or upsets and I dealt with them all fine. I wheeled myself for absolute miles in my manual chair, handled not adequately dropped curbs with few issues and had a great time. I had to do something out there that I had been adament before I went that I was too scared to do and wasn’t going too. I knew I had no choice in the matter however and I just got on with it. It’s not something (riding the metro) I’d do again, but I coped and I showed myself just how strong i can be.

When I went to the airport to fly back there was a guy with CP (in a chair) and his mum on my flight too. The flight was slightly delayed and I was sat with them both at the gate and on the plane. We were chatting (well, mostly I was chatting with his mum) and she kept commenting about how brave I was to fly by myself and that she woudln’t do it and she’s not disabled. She then asked about where I stayed and upon hearing that I stayed in the hotel alone (which, btw, I loved!) went back to saying how brave I was. Her son was upset about leaving his friends they’d been visiting and she kept telling him “Emma’s left her friends and is flying home by herself, if anyone is going to get upset it’s Emma.”

Going to Madrid by myself wasn’t exactly brave – I do what I have to do and I had to do that. I wanted to go to Madrid and I knew if I didn’t go alone I woudn’t go. So I went.

I’m not going to lie and say that getting on that plane was easy tho, it’s wasn’t.

We landed back in the UK and they brought stairs to aircraft so we had to sit (for ages) and wait for an ambulift. I was sat there going “I didn’t it. I went to Madrid by myself. I did it.” and she turned to me and went


“Yes, Emma. You did. Well Done.”