A short update on Stones and Sticks and Words

I haven’t written anything new for this blog since July, and it seems like a good time to give a short update to anyone who’s interested.

I am well. My life continues to get better. I’m even starting to get used to it. This doesn’t mean life is super easy. I live in poverty, and I struggle to cover the basic costs of living. I haven’t gotten new clothes (and by new I mean second-hand) for at least 6 months and maybe even a year. And I don’t really have any pants I like, or that fit that well. Still, compared to six years ago, life is so much better.

But the main reasons I haven’t been writing, aside from procrastinating, are that I was burning out and I needed to take some time to recover. From about January to August I was working pretty constantly and it was finally too much for me. So I took a break.

I’ve also been in a lot of pain. I fell out of a tree 6 years ago and I broke my left ankle and wrist and squished disks in my spine. Ever since I’ve been in pain. It is tiring. It probably makes me grumpy, too. And healing from all the trauma I’ve experienced over my life is also tiring. I’m often tired, and it cuts into what I am able to get done.

So that’s been the second big hurdle with keeping up with the blog.

The final two reasons is that I’ve been much more successful as a writer than I ever expected, and that I’m trying to get into radio journalism, photography and visual art. I’ve been doing some journalism, and I’m co-authoring an essay on resisting state surveillance and infiltration with Mariful Alam for an activist journal called Upping The Anti. There’s still a long way to go, but the path to being a professional writer is there, and I plan to give ‘er. I’m also hopeful that I’ll be able to find a way for me to do all of the work that I’m interested in.

But I don’t want to give up on this blog. When I began writing it four years ago, I had few ambitions, mostly just a desire to write about Ritual Abuse. Learning I had been Ritually Abused was such a shock that I just wanted to tell someone about what was going on. At the time I was quite socially isolated, and much of the time I did have was spent healing. Overcoming the abuse was the main focus of my life. I’m happy to say that the abuse no longer takes up so much of my time, and that it isn’t as scary or overwhelming as it once was. I’m able to view it with more perspective and give it it’s due place, without making it more or less important than it truly is.

One of the goals I did have was to raise awareness about ritual abuse. The activist community that I was a part of was probably more aware of sexual violence and child abuse than many communities, but I personally had never heard of ritual abuse. I wanted, and I still want, to change that. Since i started, though, my goal has shifted towards establishing myself as an author, in part so that I’m able to tell my story of surviving ritual abuse to a broader audience, and to help other survivors to do the same.

And I hope, as I think I’ve said before, that this blog can be the place where I can write about subjects I find interesting, but editors don’t, or where I can say what I want without having anyone having a say in how I express myself.

The slogan for the blog is “If words changed anything, they’d be illegal,” by which I mean not that words can’t change anything, but that when individuals, communities and movements are saying things that powerful people and groups find threatening, these people and groups move to silence them through legal and illegal means. The US government’s efforts to shut down Wikileaks are one example of this. The US government’s prosecution of whistleblower Chealsea Manning is another example. More sinister are the examples of the FBI’s illegal war on the New Left, the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement. These examples are all from the US, but this is because movements, and civil society there have been more diligent in exposing the underhanded actions of the US government, not because the Canadian government, CSIS and the RCMP don’t engage in “dirty tricks”.

I have written some things I know to be illegal in the hopes of seeing what happens next. Specifically, I published the name of an undercover police officer with his real name and a photograph, which I believe to be illegal. I guess whichever political police read my blog decided to exercise discretion and to ignore that particular act of law breaking. Maybe next time, though.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m hoping – maybe aiming would be the better word – to get arrested for something I’ve written some day. You might think this is foolish. Maybe it is. But we all have hopes and dreams, even if we don’t have ways and means.

This is an update to say that I plan to get back to it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again. Anyways, I hope you are doing well, whoever you are.

And, in conclusion, HATERS GONNA HATE.