digital rooting garden

a digital garden | find me at kitty.town

Mastodon and the rest of the Fedi can be confusing and overwhelming, but it offers lots of ways to customize your experience and timelines.

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i have been disabled my whole life, but really never knew it or had been part of the community. i was born with a hole in my heart, asthma, and allergies. i had nose bleeds often, and needed a nebulizer pretty regularly. i was fortunate to have great friends—they would encourage and run with me in school during fitness exams after they had completed their times (they were much more athletic lmao).

around puberty, the hole went away and was confusing to doctors, but i have not had any heart issues otherwise. my asthma went away around that time as well. around that time my GAD/OCD came out, along with my food issues and i had heartburn often (GERD), couldn’t sleep, and missed school often due to these issues.

once i went to college, i experienced more trauma (my home was also traumatizing for various reasons) and i have considered myself disabled, and noticed my disability since then. i developed PTSD, and was in a constant state of hypervigilance for nearly ten years, without exaggeration. this caused more stomach issues—i had diarrhea literally every single day, for two years (2017-2019) before i was able to get tests done by doctors. they claimed food allergies, but it’s more extreme sensitivity in my gut (as most don’t make my mouth/throat itchy and swollen), after talking to an allergist of other allergies. i was diagnosed with GERD. i am bloated and in digestive pain Constantly, because i cannot afford a diet that is free from the top ten most common food allergies, and a few others that aren’t as common.

somewhere in that hypervigilant period i also got some sort of joint/nerve damage or just the stress causes me to be in constant join pain. some of it may be arthritis or carpal tunnel from desk work, but it is not limited to just my wrists. my entire body hurts always, usually feels like bone pain but sometimes muscular.

now, in the past few years my asthma has returned with vengeance. combined with it being exercised induced, it is also influenced by my air-borne allergies (dander, dust, mold, certain pollen, etc). i had a period of time in the past year where just literally out of bed took me out for 30+ min. then i had to walk down the hall, down the stairs, and take care of the dogs… i am now on more medication for this than i have ever been before. my own nebulizer, two inhalers i take daily, and a rescue inhaler, plus three allergy medications i take daily. i have not needed the nebulizer or rescue inhaler since i started the two daily ones, but previous i was using my nebulizer every six hours.

i still struggle with air in my own home (due to it being neglected before i even got here, but also my pets and the house is full of smokers) but outside of it is easier. i still struggle to walk or stand for long periods. i still have issues with my OCD/GAD/PTSD.

i haven’t taken the time to write this all out, but have been thinking about it a lot and how not being considered disabled when i was younger impacted how i view disability now. it has been difficult, but really i have been in this position for my whole life and just never knew it.

you can check out the first part of my never-ending fedi guide here.

the first part of the guide covers the basics of the fediverse, mastodon, and most of the features. this part will cover #Fediquette and server recommendation.

#FediGuide

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“The Fediverse is the name given to a group of computer servers that host social networks in a peer-to-peer way. Each of these servers are able to talk with each other to make one gigantic web of social networks. This is similar to if Twitter users could see posts from Facebook users, and Facebook users could see posts from Twitter users. Its name is a combination of the words “federation” and “universe”.

Most instances of the Fediverse make use of free, open source software. … To contribute content to the Fediverse you can either host your own server instance, or join an existing one as a user. …

Many of the Fediverse networks aim to provide a free, open and decentralized alternatives to an existing commercial products.”

Copied from the “Simple English Wikipedia” page on the Fediverse

this is, by far, the most succinct and easy to understand explanation of the fediverse that i have found. it’s a great place to start, so anyone reading this or other guides can understand the basics of what the fediverse is and how large it is.

there are many federated servers in the fediverse: some are micro-blogs like twitter, some are long-form posts like this one (or a blog or medium alternative), some are picture-based like instagram, some are video-based like youtube, some are music-based like soundcloud…

you can join an existing server, or host your own if you have the knowledge and/or the money.


the majority of this guide will be focused on “Mastodon”, which is a micro-blog format similar to the idea of twitter. as i learn more, or as i find other guides, new posts will come out or this will be edited with new links. this includes not only mastodon, but other areas of the fediverse!

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my name is victoria, but you can call me ginger~

i was born the middle of five children in 1993 to a witch turned into an evangelical christian mother, and a sociopathic and abusive father in the eastern USA. i won’t go much into all of this, but it is an important part of myself, and i have been learning more and more about how growing up the way i did impacts me today.

i was very tomboyish in my youth, and since one of my older brothers and i were closest in age, we often had shared friends from church (rarely at school). most of my friends tended to be boys, but i made a few lifelong friends who were girls starting in middle school and onward.

i spent most of my free time online in forums, in chats with friends, on cute animal and gaming sites like neopets, or playing video games. my brothers and my dad were heavily into shooters, or the risk board game—but i was not always welcome in that sphere so i played legend of zelda, or co-op or competitive games (mario games) on the N64 with my younger sisters. gradually, i moved onto xbox, and the wii as time went on and siblings left the house more often.

my parents had a rather nasty separation and divorce in my middle school into high school years, and we all lived with my mother and did not need to leave our home. however, she then took on the role of caretaker and money maker—which was excessively tough on all of us.

i went to college, as we were pressured to do, and studied psychology—a huge passion of mine. as someone who did not always understand others and was constantly told i was too cold, too blunt, too much, i wanted to know more about not only my brain and emotions, but the brains and emotions of others.

in college, i was sexually assaulted, and that pushed me to learn about Title IX, trauma, and i began to organize on campus. i helped change policies and procedures, got a new administrative position added dedicated to this, and a fellowship position was also created and given to me to continue my work, as i was graduating. my fellowship position also helped write a 300k grant that the college did get, but i was let go after two years.

i started in a masters program for counseling, and made it almost all the way through but an unpaid internship was inaccessible to me for many reasons, and i dropped out of the program with six credits remaining (both semesters of internships). throughout my years i have grown more and more critical of psychology as an institution, and have stopped working in the field.

i have learned a lot about myself through psychology, and astrology. i love personality measures and assessments, even if they are not always valid (in the statistical sense). i think these tools are helpful for self analysis, and for me i feel the results are often accurate. i have discovered i am autistic, and relate heavily to my sun/moon/rising in astrology. i have been learning more about enneagram and human design recently, and they are quite interesting: i am 5w4 and a projector.

as i continued to spend more time online, i found myself hating corporate social media and ads which is what drew me to the fediverse. i jumped around before i ran my own instance for a few years, but now i am back at kitty.town and moderating there. i have always loved blogging and writing, so to find write.as was such a joy!

i hope to continue expanding my knowledge, and use this digital garden as a home for the knowledge to be shared and added to.

you can usually find me on kitty.town