I’ve been at BlogHer conference in Chicago, where I spoke on a panel of bloggers who write about chronic illness. In social settings between sessions, I keep meeting women who — it turns out, after I hand my Dancing with Pain card — have chronic pain. I am having a great time connecting with really inspirational, powerful women, and I feel as if it’s a renaissance of the third wave feminist ‘zine movement of the 1990s.
I haven’t really felt much of a community network since then. Because of the fabulous organizing of the BlogHer women, however, I feel that community is coming together for me again. I know a lot of these women already have connected on the internet. For me, though, personal contact is first and foremost. In addition, because of my pain issues, I try to spend as little time on the internet as possible, so I’m not much of a lurker on other people’s blogs.
Today I felt really encouraged by the stories of other bloggers on my panel, as well as women who spoke from the audience at another panel. I have come to understand why, despite the fact that one of the reasons I started my blog was to share my story, I have not done much of it: It’s becuase I felt beaten down by the medical system and what one guy calls New Age bullies.
But no more. A series of interactions over the past few weeks have given me back my “fuck you” voice, and I’m a’gonna use it now.