What can I say about 2020 that hasn’t been said? You know 2020 has been a transformative time and transformation can be painful. The former powerhouse country has fallen due to a president who represents and supports outdated and harmful ideology. The world has said no more to oppression and discrimination.
Voices silenced by pain and cruelty rise, asserting their right to be heard and demanding their deserved justices. Voices which I closely align with. I am a disabled woman traumatised by abuse. I am an ally to LGBTQ2S and all those under the rainbow who have a right to love who they love. I’m an ally to the important voices of those who have been marginalized because of the colour of their skin. I am against discrimination of any kind including fatphobia. I support indigenous lives. Black lives matter.
As I said, transformation can be painful. Those voices rising face reliving and creating new pain as they bravely speak out.
The world is seeing the pain of people that has long been oppressed and hidden away from the public, though it has always been there. It needs to stop. If you disagree with me, it’s been said before but we don’t have a difference of opinion, we have a difference in morality.
The horrors of COVID-19 adds to the challenges of this year.
I’ve waited this long before speaking about it because other voices need to be heard above mine, and because my disability has made it difficult for me to focus my thoughts and write. I’ve waited because, honestly, I’ve been afraid to speak out online thanks to my own experiences. Which is ironic if you know me in person, I’m rather well opinionated and often stand up for those who cannot. I’m not letting fear hold me back right now.
But I need to honour myself as well. My disability is new and affects every aspect of my life. My energy is limited. I can’t be the warrior I was before. I can’t be the writer I was before I became sick either. I wonder than, what value does my small voice have? I can’t back it up with significant action like I used to. Is buying books by black authors enough? Is writing diverse characters that honour my loved ones and the beauty of difference enough? Is it even appropriate for me to write characters from different backgrounds than my white self’s? The best review I received this year on my books indicated a lack of support for my homosexual character(s). That shows me I’ve done something right.
The last two books in my Angels and Avalon series were published thanks to the teams behind me and mainly my husband and virtual assistant. They were written pre-disability. I haven’t finished a book or piece of writing since.
Doubt, anxiety, questioning, and challenging old ways are themes of this year. I am no longer independent. I require assistance with daily tasks most of us take for granted. Dressing, feeding, washing, or caring for myself requires near-constant assistance. I struggle to go for a walk around the block or run an errand. My entire life has changed.
What’s next for me? I’m not sure. I have lofty goals to write more books and dreams to travel and regain my independence. I hope to achieve them, but there’s uncertainty around that now with my disability and loss of independence. I’m going to try, damnit. I’m going to do what I can to fight through this, whether that looks like graceful acceptance, stumbling warrior, or a combination of both. On a side note, why do disability aids and supports cost so much and are so hard to find? Why does society make it more difficult on people who have significant challenges with the basics of living?
It’s okay to be disorganized, emotional, broken, and confused. It’s okay to be where you are right now. It’s okay to question everything. If you’re really struggling, reach out and take a breath. Give yourself time away from 2020 if you can. Escape into a good book, a movie, nature. Embrace the natural and creative. Safely embrace your family and friends.
My hope for the rest of the year is we get through this together for the better.