Warning: Expect foul language. I often blog when sleep deprived, and even when I'm not sleep deprived I cuss.
Warning the second: TMI often occurs. Read at your own risk. Feel free to laugh at my expense (I know I do!).
Warning the third: I suppose I should just put a general Trigger Warning here. I talk about mental illness (Anxiety, panic disorder, depression, social shit), abuse (rarely), and my fucked up relationship with food. And...other things. Actually, just consider this a general warning: If you might be triggered by things, you probably should read no further.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Yeah, I'm a badass

Okay, so the whole thing was not badass on its own, but in context I was completely badass. So at this point I think I've established that my crazy makes class interesting. I have to sit at the back of the room with the wall to my back, because if I have people sitting behind me...yeah, my brain doesn't like that much. In related news, standing in front of the class is a problem too. Speaking up in class I've gotten better about, but actually participating in conversation, debate and general exchange of ideas is a challenge. My intercultural communications class is full up, meaning we have something like...30? I think it's about 30 people, might be 25, suffice to say there is not an empty seat in the room. This is the context.
So let's set the scene. The teacher has been having us put our desk/table/thingummies into a circle at the beginning of each class period. This has proven helpful for me, because we're pretty much all on the same footing so far as my brain is concerned (and I still have my back to the wall so yay). About...oh, halfway through the class she calls for volunteers for a hierarchy exercise. People are representing groups in the political process. So we have the white republican male (or a guy willing to represent such) standing on one table, while the white republican female sits on the other. This gives us a starting point. I, of course, have stuck to my desk cuz hell no.
There's a gentleman in my class who's First Nations and he brought his daughter with him. They were participating (she was such a good sport), but kind of wandering around. The teacher was asking them their place in the political process and having a nice little dialogue when Mrs. White Republican chimes in with a comment to the affect that ALL indians get shitloads of money and benefits. Mr. First Nations (who is a complete gentleman) seems to be gathering his thoughts when she continues with the fact that she knows this because she's married to a man of the Puyallup tribe and has two kids with him and so knows how much money they get. Mr. First Nations and his daughter seem to be gathering their thoughts (and jaws) when I chime in with "You can't generalize like that. Just like anything else there is a hierarchy among the tribes and the Puyallup tribe happens to be THE most prosperous tribe in the area!"
At that point I got some backup from Mr and Miss First Nations who chimed in with agreement and support. Mrs. White Republican wouldn't drop it. It was kind of getting on my last nerve, because here are two people who are actually  *OF* a less prosperous tribe and she wasn't listening to them. I mean, I can honestly understand why she wouldn't listen to me because I am pale as HELL. But to ignore them? I became ireful.
"Have you ever been asked to do a friggin' Rain Dance?" Miss First Nations chimes in with, "Yeah! I have!". Mrs. White Republican doesn't respond so I continue. "Have you ever had someone automatically assume that you're an alcoholic because they find out you've got Native American blood?" Miss First Nations chimes in with "They ask me if I do crack." (different generations I suppose) I was full of piss and vinegar at this point, which is why my badassery happened.
I was so frustrated at this point that I slid out from behind my desk, walked into the middle of the "hierarchy" and crawled under Mrs. White Republican's table. The teacher was sitting next to it and leaned forward, "Are you being an oppressed minority?" "Well," says I, "I'm not-white, not-straight and a whole lot of other 'nots' so yeah." At which point she announced to the class that we now had an oppressed minority.
It may not seem like much to you, oh mysterious internet, but to me it was a big deal. I put myself out there, voiced my opinion, kept the profanity to a minimum and participated in a group activity in front of the class. This is badass for someone with social phobia, anxiety and panic disorder...
Okay, I'll admit it, I had to stay under that desk for a bit because my heart was racing and I couldn't believe I'd actually done it, but luckily I got myself together before the end of the exercise so nobody noticed (I think). This does not, however, negate my badassery in my own mind.

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