Monday, October 20, 2014

Dear Paraeducator

T/W: restraint and seclusion, victim blaming

Dear paraeducator: it has been long time since I've had one. Years in fact. But I still remember.
I remember the dehumanization;
I remember being pinned down on the floor;
I remember the condescension;
I remember all of you;
I remember what all you've done.

Dear Paraeducator:
Would it surprise you now to know of my contempt of you?
Would it surprise you now that whenever I even hear about your profession, I am awash in tears, sadness, and feelings of unworthiness?
Would it surprise you now that if I see one of you, I hide?
Would it surprise you now that I regard your teaching as a pervasive and harmful affect on my life?

Dear Paraeducator:
How have you been? Have you gone on to a teaching career--perhaps something more respectable than harassing a 10 year old autistic kid?
Have you forgotten the times when you saw me put my head down our of sensory overwhelm and decide tap me when you knew full well I hated touch?
Have you forgotten the time when you were isolating me from my class to do an assignment not even my teacher cared about?
Have you forgotten about when I swore at you?
Have you forgotten how you proceeded to escalate that?
I bet you have, but I haven't.

Dear Paraeducator:
Does it bother you that I feel hate?
Does it bother you that I sit here writing at almost one in the morning because you left a mark on me--years of depression and persistent fear--that you may have not intended?
Does it bother you that I didn't accept your savior attitudes and allow myself to be enlightened by your abled superiority?
I hope it does.
I hope it makes you wonder about whom you've hurt.

Dear Paraeducator:
Do you remember when I kicked down the "safe room" door?
Do you remember why I was in there?
Do you care?
I bet not, but I do.

Dear Paraeducator:
Are you willing to accept the damage you've done to people like me?
Or will you shy away and cry "intention!"
Or perhaps you'll blame my reaction as you always did.
Perhaps you'll say "no one can make you feel anything."
You know I hate you, right?
And as much as I try, I cannot shake that emotion.
For all you talked of "personal-responsibility," you seem to lack even the tiniest bit.

Dear Paraeducator:
This may be the last time I say this to you,
And I say this with the utmost contempt:

Go fuck yourself.

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