Posts Tagged ‘family’

img_0849  Growing up within a world that was constructed through the naturalized standards of body movements, I noticed my brother’s body stood out. As he stayed wheelchair bound and I walked beside him as my mother lifted him upstairs I felt this desire to want the world to be more accessible to my brother. With small inconveniences becoming the reason my brother’s nurses refuse to take him out his room, I saw that my brother’s impairment in which he did not cause nor create was what caused the world to seem unfair to him.  Being diagnosed with something as debilitating as cerebral palsy and having infrastructure built off the assumption that you are an able bodied person creates   disability.  Tom Shakesphere, an English sociologist sees disability to be “the disadvantage or restriction of activity caused by a social organization which takes little to no account of people who have physical impairments and thus excludes them from participation in the mainstream of social activities.” This depiction of disability seems to be fairly accurate as places such as college campuses do the bare minimum to ensure that people’s impairments don’t stop from being productivity. For example, on my college campus they provide ramps on extremely steep hills reflecting a lack of thought of those who have to wheel themselves up and down these structures. With non-disabled people creating the structures and tools for those who are disabled it continues the cycle of ignorance. It is easy to understand why disabled people have created (more…)

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Talking About Sex

I mentioned in a previous post that talking about sex is very taboo in my family. I have a big family and spend a lot of time with them so naturally I grew up uncomfortable talking about sex too. (more…)

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Like many others, I am writing about the United States 2016 President Elect and how this event has impacted me and those around me.

On Tuesday morning, November 8th, 2016, I woke up for my 10:00am class feeling confident and proud that that day would be the day that the United States of America would have their first woman President.

I had no doubt in my mind that my country would vote for the candidate that is not a racist, sexist, misogynistic, and perverted asshole. Excuse my language, but to be very honest, I can not think of any other “appropriate” word to describe the man who is now our President Elect. (more…)

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I remember it was a cold, dark night. I was back at my house in Columbia, and I believe I was in elementary school at the time. Back then, my dad was barely ever home, and this particular night happened to be one of those rare occasions where my mom was not home either. Fortunately, my sister was home to babysit me (sidenote: she is 12 years older than me), but at the time, it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen her around the house for a good 30 minutes (sidenote: I was kind of needy). So I searched around the house, and finally I thought to look out the little windows to the side of the front door. I could just barely make out a dark figure at the door, with puffs of smoke slowly seeping out the figure’s mouth. The glow of a lit cigarette was also evident. A couple minutes later, after I ran far away from the front door, my sister came back inside. I told her I saw someone (“or something“) smoking right outside our front door. She seemed kind of panicky at this point, but then she replied, “Oh, it was just our neighbors, the Silvermans!”

Nice try, but why blame our nice Jewish neighbors?

Fast forward to the present, and my sister is still smoking. Note that she was just a small girl at a pretty shitty high school at the time of the incident described above; now, she’s a high-powered account executive in her early 30s. She has tried quitting on several different occasions, and just recently, she went about a month without lighting up. But she succumbed to the temptation this past week, blaming it on work stress, and that I could “never understand” how hard it is to really kick the habit. And honestly, I probably never will. From what I can tell, based on her addiction, as well as that of my father and my significant other, the lure of nicotine is terribly strong. It does not matter that the scent of tobacco stains everything she wears. It does not matter how many times my mom has tried to scare my sister with all the ailments and potential disabilities she could develop from a smoking habit. It does not matter that she knows all of this, because that is how true addiction works I guess.

I want to be as supportive as I can, but it’s admittedly becoming tougher by the day. She herself talks about how life was really hard for her, and that our mom was barely ever around when she was growing up. She sometimes gets annoyed with me, saying that she could have been working towards a medical degree too if only my mom was around to encourage her academic growth (she’s doing just fine work-wise though…I mean she’s making more money than most doctors ever will).

She mentioned that she started smoking due to peer pressure (which is weird to me, because I’ve always seen her as such a tough, intimidating person…), and she figured no one around the house would try to stop her. I was fortunate enough, in hindsight, to constantly have my mom there to supervise me and my development into the (arguably) healthy, neurotic asshole that I am today. I was lucky that our family’s financial situation was a million times better, just as I popped out into the world. I did not have to go to the high school my sister graduated from – instead, I ended up attending a much more competitive, high-ranking school (not to mention, most of the students I knew there were more interested in sabotaging my class rank than trying to get me to smoke). But it makes me wonder how much more susceptible I could have been to peer pressure and the lure of cigarettes, alcohol, or other types of drugs if my privileges were not available to me.


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My dad used to work in the coal mines of West Virginia. This was before I was born and right around the time my parents got married. His father and uncles were coal miners as well and my grandfather wished for my dad to work anywhere but the mines. (more…)

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Body in Poverty

I never grew up poor, but after my father kicked me out and I struggled to find a safe space to sleep at night, I obviously ended up with a limited budget. To be completely honest, I’m literally broke. Flat broke. Probably poor. Penniless basically. (more…)

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mental-health-disorders            One of the topics that struck me the most in class the last few weeks was when we talked about mental illness and the people whose loved ones have mental illness. When people talk about mental illness, whether it be their own or just as a general topic, it’s hardly mentioned how other people are affected by someone’s mental illness. Yes the focus should be on the person who it working through this ordeal but it can also affect the others around. (more…)

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