Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday, Monday and Getting Something Off my Chest

Good morning, everyone. I hope that you all had a great weekend. Mine was middling. Not stellar. Not awful. Saturday was a good day, yesterday was a little tough to take. Fathers Day is really bittersweet for me, since I lost my dad. This is the third one since he has been gone and it isn't a whole lot easier. Silly little things will just up and make me cry. But the nice thing is, others will make me smile, or laugh at a particularly sweet or funny memory, so it all balances out. 

Tis the way of life. We have to take the pain with the joy and learn to integrate all of it into our way of being and learn to move through the wold with them. It isn't always easy but I have to say, I would rather have my memories, my emotions and my feelings than not. Imagine how cold, sterile, empty life would be if we didn't allow ourselves to feel, to remember, to fully experience everything, good and bad that life has to offer us. 

I think back at all of the years I dulled my senses, my emotions, my very essence with food and I just want to grieve for myself. I missed out on so much because I couldn't, wouldn't allow myself to feel, to fully experience the very things that make me human. Some of the shit that has hit me in life wasn't good, wasn't right, shouldn't have happened. But, all of it, good, bad and indifferent has come together to help form and shape the person I am and continue to become. Sure, I would love to take a quick trip back and warn my younger self to zig when I zagged but I can't and rather then running from it, I have chosen to clean out the nasty bits, throw them away and focus on the positive, the good and the future. It makes living and feeling so much better, let me tell you. It frees me from the fear and allows me to more fully experience.

I am not completely fearless but I think that I am becoming more so. I am allowing myself to voice my feelings, express more of my emotions, even to the point of demanding I be heard more often. I am beginning to put my foot down and I am lifting myself up off the doorstep where I lay for so very long. It is a process and some days, I fall back down, flat and feel the feet on my back. I think it is important to know that I am taking the steps and I am not letting my stumbles turn into life killing defeat. I deserve better than that. 

And I think that I am, finally beginning to believe that, deep down where I really need to believe it. 

So, yeah.

Yay, me. :D

There is something that I need to talk about. Something that bothers the all mighty living hell out of me. Something that needs, I believe to be addressed. That something is the misuse of the words retarded and retard. Everywhere I read and hear people saying that this or that is "so retarded". Or that person is such a fucktard, or I am such a fucktard. Or that woman is a freaktard or whatever form of this insult the person can create in his or her mind. 

This blatant misuse, dare I say abuse of these words is not only inaccurate and inappropriate, it is downright offensive. Using retarded or retard as an insult of one's self or another person or an action or object is a blatant and direct insult to developmentally disabled persons. Retarded or developmentally disabled people aren't so because they lack talent, intelligence, style, skill or beauty. They aren't stupid, they don't lack skill because they are unwilling to learn or to practice. They are born as they are. They didn't ask for it, they didn't bring it upon themselves and they most certainly don't deserve, in any way shape or form to be used as a source of denigration. Or to be denigrated by this horrid word misuse.

Misuse of the words retarded or retard is just as nasty, just as offensive and just as harmful and soul destroying as any misuse of words or phrases that describe any person's race, colour, gender or sexual orientation. I seriously doubt that any of my gentle readers would use the n-word, or other racist epithets, I would hope that none of you use the word "gay" to describe something or someone or actions you don't like or find aesthetically or otherwise unpleasing. Using the words retarded or retard is just as wrong. And it needs to stop.  


Every time I see or hear this-tard or that tard or this or that is sooo retarded, it drives a dagger into my heart. It cuts to the very core of my spirit and causes me deep pain and anger. You see, my darling elder sister is developmentally disabled or, if you like, retarded. She was born this way. She didn't cause it, she didn't ask for it. She didn't do anything wrong. No one did. She isn't a mistake, ugly, nasty, stupid, untalented, unskilled, weird or a freak. She is a beautiful, gentle, delicate creature. She is human, formed of bone and muscle and blood. She feels, she hears, she sees, she walks and talks (after a fashion ;)) she knows. She loves magazines and catalogues and TV. She adores shopping. She collects and hoards hair accessories. She is, like her younger sister something of a freak for a great nail polish, and like her sister, has a collection. She loves music and is a rabid fan of Neil Diamond and a couple of boy bands (okay, I am going to have to ding her on the boy bands...lolol). She loves hamburgers and ice cream, puppies and kittens and any fabric that is soft, fluffy or furry. 

My sister is not a "tard" of any kind. Yes, she is retarded. Developmentally, in many ways, she is about... Three. Emotionally, a little older in some ways. She is not an insult. She is not insulting and she doesn't deserve to be used as such! 

So please, next time you think you might want to hit someone or yourself or something or an action with a whatever-tard (ed) type of put down, remember whom you are hurting. Remember that retarded persons are just that. Persons. And they don't need to be abused in this fashion. 


Speaking of whew! Word on the street is that it is supposed to warm up a bit around here. Guess it is about time. It is almost officially Summer. It was bound to happen sooner or later. 

Okay, I need to get rolling. I want another cup of java, I need to read your blogs, have some brekkie and get some stuff done, get myself into the shower and pulled together and so forth and I am not going to get all of it done, sitting here wearing my fingers out on my keyboard. 

Oh yeah... Been having pretty good days, with the food. Trying to do better with the water. I will do better with the water, by gum! Yes, I will. 

Okay, I'm out. :D


  1. I'm glad you shared this, Erika. My son, Nicholas is autistic and mentally challenged and nothing makes me angrier than hearing the retarded label misused. In fact, I have been known to call people down for it. I don't like to hear it and I especially don't like for Nick to be subjected to it. He knows about his autistic label but we have never discussed the mental retardation label. There is no way to discuss it without making him feel bad because he already knows that "retarded" has negative connotations thanks to ignorant people. I'm glad you addressed it here. I'll never forget Nick begging me to let him drop out of school because the kids were calling him Radio, after the movie with Cuba Gooding Jr. Nick understood that they didn't mean it in any complimentary way. It just about broke my heart. Hugs to you.

  2. I applaud you for standing up to the folks who us "tard" as a casual slang. They just are not thinking about what a hurtful word that is, and have some misbegotten notion it is a "cute" way to refer to themselves or someone else.
    Many of these folks prolly think they are environmentally forward and progressive thinkers in this country. Then they show their ignorance by using this denigrating affectation.

  3. There is a PSA done by some of the cast from Glee that airs on Fox network. It addresses this issue. I agree, none of us would use the N word or any other type of political, racial, or social slur. It's not acceptable and thank you for the reminder. I hate to admit I didn't think about this issue much before I began to see the Glee PSA, I never used the word much, but I was guilty of using it on rare occasions. That will never be the case again.

  4. I haven't seen this PSA but I am darned sure going to keep my eyes peeled for it, now! I am so glad that someone, somewhere is standing up publicly on this issue. Thanks for the head's up, Cat. :D

    Ladies, thank you for reading this and I am so glad to know that others agree with me on this. Now, to get everyone on board. :D

  5. First, I loved how you opened this post... growing to the place where you are believing you deserve more... embracing ALL feelings, cuz they add to our experience as humans... just all of it. Thank you for that.

    And the second part touched me, too. I agree, 100%.

    I remember a summer job I had, working with the developmentally disabled (that was the term used at that time). One young man was nice, but aloof to me. Well, after a few weeks, he let me in to his world. I felt so blessed! It's like he finally trusted me, and opened his heart.

    The next morning, he didn't show up... and one of the other workers casually told me, as if he was talking about the weather, that this boy had died in his sleep last night.

    It hit me hard, and it also hit me that no one seemed to grieve, as if it was no big deal, no big loss!! He had been a gentle, beautiful soul, and I was JUST getting to know him. But others didn't seem to value him... I've never forgotten him.

    Anyway... thank you for being bold on this topic. And your sister sounds very much like that precious young man.


  6. Have you seen this...?

    I think you will like it.

  7. So this was a great post in many ways. As a high school teache rI have spent way more time discussing why we shouldn't use terms like "retarded" ever.

    Also, I too have found ways in the past to numb my feelings with good and now find myself experiencing things in a new and almost shocking way. I am like a little kid in terms of experiencing my emotions and it is hard especiallly for me dealing with anxiety. Yikes! My poor family gets my hysterical all the time, but I figured better hysterical then dead from a heart attack in a few years from eating my emotions.
    Momma Hunt


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