[Namron] As a person who happens to have a disability......

Isobel de Kirkbryde kirkbryde at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 27 13:04:24 PDT 2005

Lady Anya,

I wish I had the words to describe the purpose of the
Guild as beautifully as you have.  You are very
fortunate to have a set of friends who support you. 
That is precisely what we are trying to do.  As far as
the educating others it MUST come from the person who
has the disabilty because each person wants/needs
different things, even if their "medical diagnosis" is
precisely the same.  And not everyone is as
comfortable being outspoken about their needs and
wants as you are.  Some of us need support to say,
"Excuse me, I need this much assistance in order to do
X."  If I can drum up that courage by talking with
others I know understand then I have taken a further
step in making things work for ms. 

Some of us are new enough to the area, the SCA, etc.,
that we haven't had the years of time to build those
friendships.  This guild gives us a safe place with
people we know will understand to build that support
network.  You said, "This game is  a wonderfully
diverse bunch of folk who all have opinions and life 
experiences to back them up."  How true.  And
apparently my life experiences and yours are not
parallel.  That's OK.  My life experiences are mine
and I make no apologies for them.  I'm truly sorry you
were hurt as a child the way you were.  That is awful
and brings tears to my eyes.  No one should be treated
that way. 

I don't want my disability to be the focus of what I
do either.  I want to find my niche to play in the SCA
and do something that I do well.  So far, I'm working
on period cosmetics.  It's a bit of slow going, but it
is fun.  I've tried other things I didn't care for. 
That's OK, too.  I would have LOVED to be certified on
the seige engine.  But, the day that was happening, I
was coordinating classes for others who don't fight. 
I was busy.  But, I hope to be able to get certified
at another time.  I think that sounds like a lot of
fun and I look forward to it. 

I'm delighted that you have been "thriving and playing
in the *existing* environment quite nicely.  What's
wrong with wanting that for other people as well?  I
certainly don't understand how offering support for
one another and having each person supported in
educating others about their own needs is
passive/agressive emotional blackmail.  

Yes, there may be mundane support out there.  Do those
groups talk about how to camp at SCA events?  Do they
discuss how to adapt or camoflage mundane items so
that they look period?  Do they seek period remedies
to see if they work?  Do they seek to study and
research what period items might be made so that the
disability can be accomodated WITHOUT drawing
attention to oneself?  These issues and even
night-time pottying w/o having to get up and go out of
one's tent to porta-potties or a main hall are being
discussed openly on the e-list of the Guild.  Im'
thrilled to be part of those discussions and learning
from others because camping might be something I can
do which I haven't been able to if I know some of the
tricks to make it work. 

There are some major differences between us as far as
disabilities and playing in the SCA.  
1) You've had your disability apparently a long time. 
 Actually, this is the first I've known that. I got my
diagnoses on my back and my fibromyalia in the last 2
years.  Right now, I'm still adjusting to the fact
that I am a person with a disabilty and what freedoms
and limitations I now have which I didn't before.  I
want to do what I've always done and I can't.  That's
frustrating and emotionally painful and having a safe
place to share that is wonderful for me. 

2) You have played in the SCA for some 20+ years and
have a history.  I don't.  I have WANTED to play in
the SCA for more than 20 years (my ex-husband would
have none of it), but it wasn't until I married Master
Michael that I was able to do so.  I have lived in
Norman 3 years to most every one else's 20 or more.  I
am trying to build a system of friends and network of
support, but it doesn't happen overnight.  I NEED and
WANT the support of the Guild to feel like there is a
safe place for me to vent, even have my pity party
when I need to, and then get over it and with the
support and help of others move on.  AND, if it is an
inter-kingdom guild, it will be a way for me to meet
others when out of kingdom that I have already
connectd with online.  What a wonderful opportunity!

3) "The stark fact is that most functional people with
disabilities have figured out way to have their own
support.  That is part of the process of coming to
terms with a disability"  True.  And there are some of
us who are still IN our process of coming to terms
with our disabilities and building our supports. I'm
one of them.  I'm still working on how to build the
support network I need and figuring out who and what
need to be part of my support network even.  I want to
be as functional as possible.  I need a little more
time to work on that. 

I wish I were as strong as you and could tell the rest
of the world to take me as I am or take a hike.  I'm
not there.  I'd even love to listen to you expand  on
how you got there.  Obviously you have evolved from
the student who was ostracized to an extremely strong
woman -- one whom I admire a lot because of your
tenacity.  The simple truth is I'm not that far along
the path yet.  I would love help from you on how to
get there, with or without the Guild.

With the best of intentions I agreed to bring the idea
of the Guild to Ansteorra and to Namron.  I'm sorry if
that has hurt people's feelings or stepped on toes.  I

got caught up in an enthusiasm.  This group has been
very helpful to me and I just wanted to share it with


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