Editor’s note: As promised, this Fall season brings us a new series called Managing Spoons in 2020. It’s been a heck of a year for many of us, so I decided to ask fellow Spoonies how they’ve been handling it.
Content note: Mentions of suicide, abuse, and rape.
It’s so great to have you join us! Tell us about about yourself, your upcoming novella, and why your Twitter handle is Mouthy Gurl.
I am never very good at talking about myself. I’ve live in the Northwest Territories for about two years now, with my husband, who is a chef, and five cats. I am a so-far Cancer survivor, and I also sell beauty products at our local drugstore boutique. My upcoming novella is about a woman who decides to end her life after a brutal rape and a lifetime of abuse. It is tentatively called Her Last Night, and I am self-publishing it hopefully by October but most likely by November. My Twitter handle is Mouthy Gurl because I don’t back down from bullies and racists and other vile people who hide on the Internet and harass people who are just trying to live their lives. If you can’t figuratively and literally put your body in front of people who are being discriminate against what good is your activism, is my philosophy.
What has it been like navigating through 2020, and how have the events of the year affected you?
I’m pretty much a recluse unless I am working, so not that much. I understand how hard it is for more social people, but for me it has been a great excuse to not have to socialize—terrible, I know.
Do you find there’s been a change in any of your symptoms?
I get more migraines since having radiation, but the pandemic made me less anxious to be social, and that is really about it.
Okay, I think it’s important to talk more about your Twitter activism, specifically when it comes to calling out racism. This year, along with Black Lives Matter, we’ve also seen Black Disabled Lives Matter discussed. I’m learning that Black and POC disability advocates often find that disabled and autistic spaces are too white, sometimes shutting out or speaking over BIPOC voices. What are your feelings about this?
I give space to disabled people and Black disabled people by RTing them and not talking over them when they have something to say. I find a lot of white activists tend to talk over and take up space and center themselves in the fight, but it is not their fight, and if they take up that space, it doesn’t help in anyway. I do however throw myself into conversations where the racism or bigotry is being used to shut down or derail the conversation because disabled and/or Black people shouldn’t have to deal with any of that while we can step in front and say “this is not okay” or “stop being racist” it takes very little energy to protect people online from harassment if you are online all the time anyway.
How do you feel we can improve intersectionality in our disabled, Deaf, and neurodiverse spaces?
That’s not for me to say; it is for me to listen and do what is asked of us by those people in that community. As far as autism goes, I think more space needs to be given to autistic adults and more programs to help autistic children need to be children-first and not parent-first, as it had been for so long. We can only make a more just world by listening to the ones who need the justice and the equality, otherwise, we are just making noise and not a lot of progress. I tend not to make my autism a factor in my activism because I am able to mask so many behaviours being diagnosed in adulthood. That being said, I am very good at listening to the needs of others who might not have the same privileges.
Back to managing spoons: Many of us are coping by consuming books or other media. What are you doing for distraction these days? Any recommendations?
I can sit for hours and play video games or read a book. I think the best thing to take from this time, is time. If you finally have to time to sit and read then do it. Normal is what you decide it is. If I can’t do something one day, I don’t fault myself. I do what I can do and move on to the next day. I use this in my writing as well. Not to force the words but allow my brain to tell me when it is ready to spit them out. I don’t write on a schedule, I write when I can no longer hold in the words, if that makes sense.
How can people find out more about you, your work, and where to connect with you?
You can find me on Twitter and Instagram, and I have a Facebook writer’s page where I throw down flash fictions and other odd thoughts that come into my mind, and I speak about my own writing experiences.
Thanks so much, Christina and best of luck with your upcoming novella!
Christina Robins live in Yellowknife, NWT, in the sub-arctic with her chef husband and five rescue cats. Her writing is about women who don’t always follow the rules society has set out. Christina wants her writing to encourage conversations about love, life, and how women survive in a world that bases our self-worth on whether we have a partner or kids, or if we fit into the narrow definition of what it means to be a woman. She is a champion of LGBTQA2S rights and Black Lives Matter movements, and believes in reconciliation for the Indigenous population and the Land Back movement. She has been a practicing witch and a tarot card reader for over 25 years.