Published 19 April 20101 May 2010 · Main Posts Mourning Samantha Hodgkins It is 2004, going on to 2005. I’m thinking about ‘identity’, and thinking about the person who in 2000 wrote: To me, sexuality has been so important for my journey to enlightenment. That’s not to assume that enlightenment is an end thing, it’s a continual process. It’s a continual reassertion of the self, or reawakening of the self, and I believe it has a lot to do for me with sexuality. When your body becomes like an enemy, if you distrust or dislike your body, which often happens to people with disabilities, you often lose your sense of self. You have to reclaim your body. Sexuality is so important for this. It’s like a reawakening for your self, and pleasuring your body can be part of that reclamation. She was confident, self-assured and sexually active. I read it now and I think ‘My God, this is a totally different person’. Which brings me to the question: ‘Where is she now?’ In 1996 I started a postgraduate course in Social Work. By 1999, I had to drop out due to my Multiple Sclerosis. I was unable to write, my sight was getting worse and my fatigue was increasing. I did not feel able to complete my degree in Social Work. I spent time feeling frustrated because I knew I wanted to help people with MS negotiating their way through sexuality. I was aware of the lack of information and taboo surrounding sexuality for young people with disabilities. For the next two years I wrote openly and honestly about sexuality and the importance of it. This was a dreamlike period when I would write, publish and be paid. I had a nasty break-up with someone I considered to be a close friend. Other intimate relations started to turn sour on me, so much so, I gave up sex altogether. Then some people close to me started to disempower me by stating that I would never have an intimate relationship again. What used to be a very powerful libido diminished to nothing. I am mourning for her, and for my independence, which has always been so important to me. I feel I have changed from being a confident, self-assured and sexually active person to someone who is overlooked, disempowered, a non-person in a wheelchair. As an example, I recently encountered stairs going into the Comedy Club. My carer and I asked security officials how we could get in. The security guy contacted another guy by walkie-talkie, and said that there is a lady ‘with’ a wheelchair, rather than a lady ‘in’ a wheelchair. I feel I have lost my identity; I am trying to find it again and I believe I will, through writing. Samantha Hodgkins Samantha Hodgkins is a student at RMIT. She writes about social issues. More by Samantha Hodgkins Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 25 May 202326 May 2023 · Main Posts The ‘Chinese question’ and colonial capitalism in New Gold Mountain Christy Tan SBS’s New Gold Mountain sets out to recover the history of the Gold Rush from the marginalised perspective of Chinese settlers but instead reinforces the erasure of Indigenous sovereignty. Although celebrated for its multilingual script and diverse representation, the mini-TV series ignores how the settlement of Chinese migrants and their recruitment into colonial capitalism consolidates the ongoing displacement of First Nations peoples. First published in Overland Issue 228 15 February 202322 February 2023 · Main Posts Self-translation and bilingual writing as a transnational writer in the age of machine translation Ouyang Yu To cut a long story short, it all boils down to the need to go as far away from oneself as possible before one realizes another need to come back to reclaim what has been lost in the process while tying the knot of the opposite ends and merging them into a new transformation.