The Wednesday HodgePodge (May 4, 2022)

Hi everyone. I’m participating in the Wednesday HodgePodge once again. Here are Joyce’s questions and my responses.

1. May Day! May Day!…last time you shouted for help? Or maybe just asked?
I’d honestly never heard that expression. That being said, I shout for help quite regularly, most commonly when I’m having a horrible flashback or panic attack. Last Monday, I probably didn’t shout for help, but did plea for help. My one-on-one support staff had left me alone because I’d told her to go away in an irritable voice while melting down. This caused me to spiral into crisis. I will spare you all the details, but I eventually came to my senses and was able to cry out for help.

2. What’s something you may do this month?
Visit my sister and her family. I most likely will, since my sister is expecting a baby very soon. Other than that, there are just too many things I may or may not do, such as finish a book, get to another polymer clay project, etc.

3. “April showers bring May flowers”…is this true where you live? What’s blooming? What’s your favorite springtime blossom?
It’s somewhat true, but we haven’t had that much rain in April this year. I’m not really sure what’s blooming here. I do know one of the nearby care homes has tulips blooming in its garden. My favorite springtime flowers are probably hyacinths, but I love many others.

4. What’s something you learned at your mother’s knee?
I am reminded immediately of a nursery rhyme that goes “One, two, three, four, paper hat, paper hat.”. When my mother would count to four, I’d always reply “Paper hat”. When my father would count to four, conversely, even as a toddler, I’d reply: “Five!”.

5. Share a thought about motherhood.
Now we’re probably supposed to share something positive, such as how beautiful the gift of motherhood is or something. I, however, am not a mother and don’t have the greatest memories of my own mother’s mothering me. Besides, my father was my primary caretaker. Not that my memories of him are any better. All that being said, I feel strongly that mothering is a skill that doesn’t necessarily come naturally as soon as a child comes out of its mother’s womb. I wish it were this way!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
Since it’s Liberation Day (from WWII) tomorrow here, I would like to take a moment to show my gratitude for living in freedom, peace and in a democracy.

Independence

In last week’s Sunday Poser, Sadje asked what independence means to you. Her question was related to Independence Day in the United States. Of course, one can view independence and freedom in light of one’s national political situation. For example, the Netherlands is a pretty stable democracy. The country has been independent in its current form ever since 1815, though Wikipedia even lists 1648 as the Netherlands’ independence year.

I for one, however, tend to apply independence and freedom much more personally. By independence, I refer to the skills I can do by myself, ie. self-reliance. This includes eating, toileting, dressing myself, writing my blog, etc. But it also includes the skills of self-determination.

I think self-determination is particularly important. By this I mean the ability to know what you want and make it clear in some way or another. Everyone, the disability rights movement assumes, has this capacity. Yes, even people who can’t talk and are labeled as profoundly intellectually disabled. However, it is so commonly overridden by well-meaning family or “helping” professionals.

I remember a client at the first day center with my current care agency for people with intellectual disability I attended. This client had severe cerebral palsy, was profoundly intellectually disabled, couldn’t speak, had epilepsy and was blind. However, somehow, the staff had figured out that bergamot essential oil was her favorite scent.

The same client was also sometimes called “spoiled” when she cried and then was quiet once the staff put a vibrating hose around her body. I’d say she was making known what she wanted. She was using her independence!

With respect to independence as freedom, I, for one, think that self-determination is more important than self-reliance. For example, I get help with my personal care. I myself asked for this after I noticed that it cost me a lot of energy to do it myself. Even though I could, with a lot of verbal instruction, take care of my personal hygiene independently if I really needed to, I decided this isn’t a priority for me. My staff, thankfully, agree.

What is important to you where it comes to independence?

I am also joining MMA StoryTime’s Word of the Day.