Monthly Archives: May 2016

Who Killed Virginia Woolf? CW: suicide; ableism; sexual abuse

Painfully real. Painfully beautiful

Karrie higgins

In response to Amanda Lauren and XOJane. This is what it means to be triggered by your ableist, thoughtless, cruel writing. This is what happens when people with mental illness and disability internalize ableism. This is how words become deadly.

Content warning: suicide; ableism; mental illness; abuse; caregiver abuse; psychiatric commitment; violence; dead bodies

If you are in suicide crisis, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1 (800) 273-8255.

If you are a victim of sexual assault in crisis, please call RAINN at 800.656.HOPE (4673).

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The first time it happened, a stranger in Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City called me “the second coming.” He was pointing to a display of tote bags and t-shirts printed with Virginia Woolf’s portrait.

Black and white profile photograph of Virginia Woolf. She is seated facing left, with her long hair in a bun at the nape of her neck. She wears a white, long-sleeved dress. Her mouth is closed, face relaxed, and eyes appear almost unfocused. English novelist and critic Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1941), 1902. (Photo by George C. Beresford/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“That could be you,” he said.

He didn’t know I was a writer…

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Prince and the Sparkle Brains (cw: disability, ableism, sexual abuse)

I love this so much. As someone who’s gone from being a “pretty girl with a limp” to a “fat woman in a wheelchair” among other similarities between us,(in that it’s very hard to see yourself as a whole person sometimes when you are ‘sparklebrain’ and other people delete your gender or your sexuality or any other part of you that makes you whole and beautiful) this was a moment where I thought of myself as ‘same’ and ‘different’ simultaneously. This is beautiful.

Karrie higgins

The day Prince died, I was walking to the audiologist office to pick out hearing aids, Purple Rain playing on my purple iPod, my lipstick-red walking cane tapping its drumbeat on the sidewalk, vibrating through my wrist bones to my elbow bones to my shoulders to my clavicles to my brain, telling me: I am whole. Without my cane, without that drumbeat, my brain gets confused: Where is my musical limb?

The cane makes music just for me. When I walk to the beat, I drum to the beat. Doesn’t matter about my hearing anymore. I am a walking musical instrument.

Except it does matter, because certain music saved my life. Certain music still saves my life.

Maybe I can hear Prince like I did when I was a kid, I thought. How much of his music am I missing? What frequency is his voice?

I wanted a purple hearing aid to match my pastel…

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